THE HOUSE of Representatives has scheduled public hearings in the region to find out the Cordillerans’ sentiments on autonomy.

The hearings will be conducted by the House Committee on Local Government.

To be discussed is the pending House Bill 4649, which is the third Organic Act of Cordillera.

Baguio City Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr. said the schedule was set in consultation with the other Cordilleran lawmakers who have committed to summon their constituents to the hearings.

The hearings will be in Baguio City on July 10, Calanasan, Apayao, on July 15, simultaneous with the celebration of the Cordillera Day; Bangued, Abra, on July 22, Bontoc, Mountain Province on July 23, Lagawe, Ifugao, on July 24, Tabuk City, Kalinga on July 30 and in La Trinidad, Benguet on July 31.

An Ad Hoc Committee, composed of 20 members from the Committee on Local Government will preside the hearings.

Attention right now is focused on the Bangsamoro Basic Law, but Cordilleran lawmakers are confident the Cordillera autonomy bill will eventually be enacted.

"Hopefully before the year ends, the House and the Senate will have passed their versions of the law so President Aquino will be able to sign it early next year," said Aliping.

"But due to time constraints, the plebiscite to ratify the law may not be held in May next year, but could be held as early as 2017," he said. Giovani Joy Fontanilla