Cordillera congressmen refile autonomy bill

>> Wednesday, August 24, 2022

QUEZON CITY -- All Cordillera congressmen, sponsored and refiled a House measure seeking to establish the Cordillera Autonomous Region and comply with Section 15, Article X, of the 1987 Constitution providing establishment of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and Cordilleras.
     Representatives Menchie B. Bernos of the lone district of Abra, Eleanor C. Bulut-Begtang of Apayao, Solomon R. Chungalao of Ifugao, Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr. of Mountain Province, Mark O. Go of Baguio City, Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang of Kalinga and Eric Go Yap of Benguet filed House Bill 3267 entitled, “An Act Establishing the Cordillera Autonomous Region” on August 8, 2022.
    During the 18th Congress (2019-2022), House Bill 5687, known as An Act Establishing the Autonomous Region for the Cordillera was approved on third and final reading before the House of Representatives adjourned session.
    In their explanatory note, the lawmakers said quest for autonomy continues, as many areas in the Cordillera remain underdeveloped.
    “Autonomy shall serve as the foundation upon which the people of Cordillera shall be empowered to pursue sustainable and inclusive growth, through the management, protection and development of their natural and human resources, and the promotion of the rights and culture of the Cordilleran people. It is through its progress and growth as an autonomous political entity that the Cordillerans can tap its potentials and contribute to national success,” they added.
    The Cordillera congressmen said collective aspiration of the Cordillerans for genuine autonomy was rooted on right to self-determination of the people fueled by a long history of struggle for the recognition of their rights.
    “It is high time that we make good on this Constitutional mandate, and allow the Cordillerans to determine their political status and to freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development. With clearer understanding of autonomy, its implications and effects on the lives of our people and on the future of Cordillera, the time is ripe for us to once again present to the Cordillerans the opportunity to realize this deeply ingrained desire,” they said.
    Among the salient features of the autonomy bill was found in Article III Section 6, which shall afford the autonomous region an “equitable share in the national budget and development assistance in addition to other financial assistance, support and subsidies to accelerate the region’s development.”
    Regional powers shall also be devolved to local government units particularly in areas of education, health, human resources, science and technology and people empowerment.
    In relation to the use and management of resources, Section 16 recognizes the regional government’s share with the national government in the exploration, development and utilization of its natural resources, conservation and protection of natural resources by promoting the sustainable use and management thereof and adopts environmentally sound and appropriate technology in the management of natural resources. The use of renewable energy for the power needs of the inhabitants of the Cordillera and the conduct of business and commerce thereat shall be promoted. (With reports from the Office of Rep. Maximo Y. Dalog, Jr. of Mountain Province)


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