President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed Baguio City Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan as Chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) on February 28, 2017.
Mayor Domogan will be serving the RDC for three years until June 2019, which coincides with the term of local elective officials. He took his oath of office before the President last March 30, 2017 at Malacañan Palace.
Mayor Domogan’s work shall include presiding over the Council’s meetings and ensuring that the RDC’s functions are effectively discharged, including the formulation and implementations of a comprehensive regional development plan and the monitoring of the implementation of major inter-provincial and region-wide development programs. In addition, he will be representing the region in the NEDA Board’s Luzon Area Development Coordinating Council and in other national government meetings that maybe called by the Office of the President.
According to Mayor Domogan, the position will enable him to bring to the national government the concerns of the region that will hopefully increase funding for the Cordilleras. He stressed that “… the development of the region will be prioritized, all the needs and concerns of each of the provinces in the region will be studied and will be prioritized”. During the RDC’s Second Quarter Meeting in Bontoc, Mountain Province last April 7, 2017, Mayor Domogan promised to work with local government units and line agencies to ensure that concerns of the region in terms of development and progress will be attained.
A staunch advocate and supporter of regional autonomy for the Cordillera, Mayor Domogan explained that the slow development of the region is a major reason for RDC’s quest for regional autonomy. Mayor Domogan said that he is pleased with Secretary Dureza’s commitment during the RDC Meeting earlier held in Tabuk City to discuss with the President the RDC’s proposal for the President to certify the autonomy bill as an urgent administration measure.
Mayor Domogan articulated that the autonomy bill for the Cordillera must be enacted into law not later than the first quarter of 2018 so that a plebiscite can be done before the end of 2018. This will allow the simultaneous election of officials for the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera during mid-term elections scheduled in May 2019. He warns that “If we miss this target, it will be very difficult for us to come up with a special election for the establishment of the autonomous government, thus, we will have to wait for the next election which will be on 2022 for us to realize our aspiration of becoming autonomous” (asa/cpm/nedacar).