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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

Cordilleran solons revive bid for regional autonomy

Tabuk City, Kalinga – Cordillera representatives refiled a new bill, pushing for the decades-old quest for self-governance.

To recall, Cordillerans rejected two organic acts enacted in January 1990 and March 1998 for an autonomous region. Only Ifugao province favored self-determination on the first referendum while only Apayao voted for the same in the second plebiscite.

Following the failed attempts, extensive campaigns have been launched, reflecting the collective aspiration of the Cordillera people for regional autonomy.

The Cordillera Autonomous Region bill proposed in the 18th Congress was said to have been approved on its third and final reading before the House of Representatives ended its session.

Another autonomy bill sought

On Monday, August 08, the seven Cordillera legislators filed House Bill 3267 before the 19th Congress as another shot for autonomy.

The legislative measure is jointly authored by Representatives Allen Jesse Mangaoang of Kalinga, Maximo Dalog Jr. of Mountain Province, Menchie Bernos of Abra, Eleanor Bulut-Begtang of Apayao, Mark Go of Baguio City, Eric Yap of Benguet, and Solomon Chungalao of Ifugao.

The lawmakers believe that “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.”

The grant for autonomy would allow the devolution of national government powers to the regional government.

Likewise, self-rule will enable the region to craft its own development policies and programs that best fit the needs of its component provinces.

“It is through its progress and growth as an autonomous political entity that the Cordillerans can tap its potentials and contribute to national success… 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,” stated the representatives.


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