The local government committee of the House of Representatives, composed mostly of lawmakers from Mindanao, has vowed support r the passage of the House Bill 5343 or the act establishing the Autonomous Region in the Cordillera.
Sub committee chairperson Zamboanga Sibugay 1st District Rep. Wilter Palma II said that with the support of the Cordillera representatives to the recently passed Bangsamoro Organic law, it is now their turn to support the bid of the Cordillerans for their own autonomous region.
“This representation also supports the creation of the Cordillera autonomous region.Kami naman pong mga taga Mindanao ang susuporta sa inyo,” Palma said.
Bukidnon 3rd District Rep. Manuel Zubiri assured support to the “long overdue clamour of the Cordillerans.”
“Definitely, I am for this (autonomy in the Cordillera). It is long overdue, I think it should have started a long time ago,” Zubiri said as he called on his fellow lawmakers from Mindanao to support their Cordillera brothers and sisters in their quest for autonomy.
Lanao Del Norte 1st District Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo and Zamboanga Del Sur 2nd District Rep. Aurora Cerilles also vowed support for the passing of the autonomy bill of the Cordillera as they proposed the creation of a Technical Working Group which would look into the issues on hand including the amendments of the HB 5343 and the conduct of the public hearings which were also done for the Bangsamoro Organic law.
“We support the Cordillera autonomous region, in the spirit of brotherhood, especially coming from the minority and the marginalized sector,” Dimaporo said.
The TWG will be composed of the Cordillera congressmen who will be working double time to conduct meetings and public hearings at the different Cordillera provinces with the secretariat of the House of Representatives.
In his message during the hearing, Regional Development Council Chairman Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan thanked the congress for passing the Bangsamoro Organic Law and appealed to also pass the Cordillera autonomy bill.
He also presented the resolutions of support for the establishment of the autonomous region in the Cordillera coming from the different local government units, civil society organizations and other stakeholders in the region. He also submitted the amendments of the House bill which will be used by the TWG.
Based on the timeline, the TWG should complete the public hearings and the inputs of amendments until September for the bill to be passed and be ready for plebiscite.
Domogan led the delegates from the different provinces of the Cordillera to participate and show support during the committee hearing of the Autonomy bill.
Cordillera lawmakers present during the committee hearing were Apayao Rep. Eleanor Begtang, Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, Benguet Rep. Ronald Cosalan, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat and Kalinga Rep and Mountain Province Caretaker Allen Jesse Mangaoang. (PIA CAR)