Cordillera legislators file autonomy bill

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Friday, June 13, 2014


THE act establishing the autonomy of Cordillera Administrative Region was already filed June 11, Wednesday at the House of Representatives.

The autonomy bill to be known as House Bill 4649 was signed by all Cordillera legislators.

"We are happy that all the Cordillera lawmakers signed the House Bill for creation of autonomous region for Cordillera," Baguio City Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr. told Sun.Star Baguio.

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He added they are now just waiting for the house bill to be referred to the proper committee.

Although he admitted it may take some time before the decision comes out, he said, "We will make it sure that the approval will be this year."

The lawmaker hopes information dissemination about the region's autonomy will be continuously enforced to enable Cordillerans to have a full grasp on its advantages.

Aliping also specified the autonomy bill fully recognizes the rights of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) pursuant to the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) so their concerns are not left behind.

The people of CAR are encouraged to show massive support to the bill to get the back of the President and to make the autonomy a reality.

Earlier in May, a manifesto was signed supporting the campaign for Cordillera Autonomous Region by Cordillera leaders particularly Vice-governor Chari Bersamin of Abra; Governors Elias Bulut Jr. of Apayao; Nestor Fongwan of Benguet; Jocel Balac of Kalinga; Dennis Habawel of Ifugao; and Leonard Mayaen of Mt. Province. Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Tabuk City Mayor Ferdinand Tubban also signed the said manifesto.

There have been attempts legalizing the autonomy of CAR. However, they failed in two separate plebiscites in 1990 and 1998 for the reason that the leaders of the region were not able to get the support of the their grassroots.

The autonomy for Cordillera is a constitutional mandate provided by provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 14, 2014.

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