By Shah Balaw-ing

The Cordillera Association of Regional Executives (CARE) convened a forum on regional autonomy for regional executives last November 19, 2013 in Teachers’ Camp, Baguio City. The forum which was funded by the Regional Development Council – Social Preparation for CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR), was attended by 74 regional and assistant regional directors as well as provincial directors of line agencies.

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan urged participants to help pursue Cordillera regional autonomy saying it was by virtue of Executive Order 220 that regional line agencies were created in the region.

EO 220 established the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in July 15, 1987 to accelerate economic development in the region and to prepare it towards regional autonomy. 

As a creation of EO 220, you have the mandate to pursue regional autonomy, explained Domogan.

CARE Chairman and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Regional Director John Castañeda said that the CARE forum was to orient the regional and provincial executives on the initiatives being undertaken on Cordillera regional autonomy. The forum was also a venue to elicit recommendations on how the working draft on the 3rd Organic Act can be enhanced, said Castañeda.

An open space technology workshop designed to draw comments on the working draft was explained by the RDC Vice Chairman and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Director Milagros A. Rimando. Comments and suggestions raised are as follows:

  1. The 40 percent national wealth share in HB 5595 should be increased to 60 percent;
  2. Educational qualification for regional governor candidates should at least be college graduate to be able to articulate policies, rules and regulations;
  3. The term of office of the regional governor should be increased from 3 years to 6 years without reelection;
  4. The definition of who is a Cordilleran and domicile should be made clearer;
  5. Inclusion of a clear provision on the transitory provisions

CARE shall articulate these issues during the upcoming regional summit scheduled for next year.