WHO says the CAR bodies (CRA, CEB with its CBA Commission) reneged on their mandate to lead the CAR to full-blast autonomy? The CRA (Cordillera Regional Assembly), especially, kept silently on doggedly doing its job waiting for a more sympathetic national leadership to perform its collateral duty, in accordance with the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which commands (“shall…”) the chance for the Cordillera region to be given governance autonomy. The CRA stuck to the truth and power of the Philippine Supreme Court decision that the one-peso a year budget given by the honorable Philippine Congress did not cut off the jugular vein of the Cordillera governing bodies.
A number of CRA members, true to their oath of office, worked behind the curtains on their own initiative to keep the ember of genuine autonomy simmering. Their associate member, the RDC (Regional Development Council) even unknowingly fed the fire that kept the embers of the CRSF (Cordillera Regional Security Force) increasing. Many of them have already helped the PNP (Philippine National Police) as components of a multiplier force to keep peace and order and, mind you, to help contain the illegal drug and gambling menaces in their areas of responsibility.
They, in their own ways, also helped local farming complete with otherwise cheaper foreign-sourced products. They know the BOC (Bureau of Customs) would no more deter such products because the Philippines is signatory to the globalization agreement. CRSF members have vowed support to the national governments war against graft and corruption in gratitude to the Duterte administration’s open recognition of two regions to be autonomous, namely the ARMM and the CAR. The CAR Bodies are therefore now alerted to soon resume openly their regional governing functions, namely the CRA, which is the policy-making body, and its executive arm, the CEB. This resumption will surely correct the anomalous situation where there is a political region with its territory and people but with no functioning regional government because of the disabling lack of budget. Crossing our fingers and praying duly!
President Federico Balanag of the BARP (Blessed Association of Retired Persons Foundation, Inc.) gave word to this column that he is inviting President Rodrigo Duterte to grace the celebration of the 19th Anniversary of the Foundation on July 24, 2018, as Guest of Honor and Speaker. That would mean much to enhance the image of the international organization popularly known as BARP.
Calling the attention of the members of the BSU Retirees Association (BSU-RA) to attend to our association meeting on Friday, March 9, at the IPA Building, BSU, La Trinidad, Benguet campus. See you there healthy in body and spirit!