LUNA, Apayao – Officials of the province urged residents to take a stand on the third quest for Cordillera autonomy.

During Monday’s provincial summit and consultation, Gov. Elias Bulut Jr. called on his constituents to understand fully the concept of autonomy, which is being pushed anew by the Regional Development Council.

Bulut said the summit was called so the public can be informed of the pros and cons of autonomy. This is also to determine public sentiment and to gather more inputs before a third Organic Act is re-filed in Congress.

The inputs will be collated and presented during the regional summit in Baguio City on April 30.

The RDC has been holding a series of forums on autonomy as part of the intensified information campaign on autonomy.

It is pushing for a third attempt in compliance to Executive Order 220.

Speakers from various agencies discussed the historical background of autonomy, salient features of House Bill 5595 as well as the frequently asked questions on autonomy.

Around 500 participants attended.

Interior and Local Government Regional Director John Castaneda also gave details on the advantages and benefits of autonomy on local government units and the province.

Rep. Eleanor Begtang said as the province’s representative, she needs to listen to the sentiments of the people before she takes a position.

She said the stand of the province should be a decision of the people of Apayao not the leaders only.

In 1998, during the second plebiscite on autonomy, only Apayao voted in favor.

Begtang said the third Organic Act should be reflective of the people’s sentiments and beneficial to the region’s development. She said the continuing information education campaign in the province by different sectors is a big help in making people understand autonomy.


by Redjie M. Cawis / PIA
Baguio Midland Courier, 13 April 2014