DESPITE criticisms from groups wanting to revive the Cordillera bodies, members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) are still pushing through with its own autonomy campaign.

Former RDC acting chairman Juan Ngalob said he heard of reports that some groups already have requested President Benigno Aquino III for the revival of the Cordillera bodies.

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The Cordillera bodies composed of the Cordillera Executive Board, Cordillera Bodong Administration and Cordillera Regional Assembly were created by Executive Order (EO) 220 by then President Corazon Aquino.

Ngalob said since these bodies were deactivated, the RDC created through former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Executive Order 30 in 2001 was formed to oversee regional development efforts in the region.

He said last September 2005, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case filed by Atitiw, et. al. that the court is without authority to compel the executive branch to implement the provisions of EO 220 or to restore its budgetary allocations to its level under the principle of separation of powers.

Thus in March 2006, Ngalob said they adopted the pursuit of regional autonomy as it would hasten the region's development as it has already been 23 years since the region was created.

Ngalob said this only means the RDC is recognized by Congress, considering that they were appropriated a budget of P15 million and P18 million in 2007 and 2008.

Although they were not given any budget in 2009, they were allocated another P15 million this year which has barely been touched.

This budget, he said, will be used for the information and education campaigns of the agency on autonomy.

Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan said this is not the time to criticize but a time for all Cordillerans to unite and pursue regional autonomy.

Domogan said a working document and a time frame hat members of the RDC have scheduled to start next month will be a good set up for the Organic Act.

Mountain Province Governor Leonard Maya-en, Kalinga Governor Joel Baac and Ifugao Governor Eugene Balitang agreed with Domogan on a starting document for the initiators of autonomy to work on.

"This is a good time to start working for autonomy as the election season has ended and all administrations are eager to pursue the same goal for the region," Baac said.

Tabuk Mayor Ferdinand Tubban said instead of criticizing autonomy and the RDC for its information campaigns, critics should work with the RDC so the organic act will be passed early next year.