By March Fianza/Northern Philippines Times

BAGUIO CITY — Autonomy is often defined as “self-rule” or the “power to make one’s own decisions.” However, some sectors have automatically equated that to mean “decision-making by one,” which to me should not be.

Meanwhile, others have associated the clamor for regional autonomy with the personal interests of individuals, particularly politicians.

If this is the case, then all the more that there is need to consult all who come to be consulted and want to say their piece, including those who feel they are being left out in the consultation process.
In the Cordillera, provincial leaders, particularly governors, who were asked questions on autonomy and things related to it, gave initial answers, some of which I am trying to recall.

In the regional development council press conference held in Apayao last year, Gov. Elias K. Bulut said that attaining regional autonomy will depend on the organic act.

“If it only provides concerns for Baguio, Benguet, Bontoc … we will not approve it,” he said. Development should not be concentrated in Baguio alone. “Baguio is not the whole Cordillera” he further said.

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