Lawmaker: Autonomy need not be rushed-A A +A
Sunday, June 24, 2012
IFUGAO’S lone district representative stressed attaining autonomy should not be rushed.
Representative Teodoro Baguilat Jr. said he has stopped giving a deadline for the region to achieve autonomy, seeing it will be achieved after the 2013 midterm elections.
People should be cognizant the Cordillera might not gain autonomy, in terms of votes, in the current House of Representatives, Baguilat added.
“We should continue with the information drive, whether it is 2014 or 2015. That is why we are not trying to say that we have no time left since anytime President Benigno Aquino III could also declare it a priority bill,” he added.
He said the only factor that will remain important in attaining autonomy will be the readiness of Cordillerans to take a vote in favor of the autonomy.
He urged the Regional Development Council (RDC) to immediately conduct the baselines survey to gauge the awareness and pulse of the people towards regional autonomy.
“If we see less than half of the people of a certain province voting for autonomy, then I guess we should not push for it yet. What we don’t want to happen here is divide the Cordillera instead of uniting it,” Baguilat said.
He said Cordillerans should reflect on attaining autonomy basing from the experience in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao where development has not been reached after several years.
He also questioned the motives of Cordillera autonomy critics, especially those questioning the sustainability of the autonomy budget stressing that the essence of autonomy lies in how the region could get shares from its various resources instead of it going to the National Government. (JM Agreda)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 25, 2012.