House Bill 5595 was filed by Cordillera lawmakers to enact an Organic Act for the Creation of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera last December 6, 2011.
The bill, initially signed by Representatives Bernardo Vergara, Manuel Agyao and Eleanor Begtang of Baguio City, Kalinga and Apayao respectively, were signed the next day by Representatives Maximo Dalog of Mountain Province and Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao. Only Representatives Ronald Cosalan of Benguet and Jocelyn Bernos of Abra have not yet signed as of press time.
The next task is to make the president certify the bill as urgent, said Vergara, who also admitted that the proposed 3rd Autonomy Act for a Cordillera Autonomous Region prepared by the Regional Development Council had been forwarded to the UP Law School for review.
Secretary Jesse Robredo who was around during the December 7, 2011 special RDC ExCom Meeting at the Sulo Hotel in Manila said that more documentation is needed before it is brought to the attention of the president.
Perhaps by January next year, we should have a more specific calendar on what to do with Cordillera Regional Autonomy including an audience with the president, Robredo said.
Governor Elias Bulut, Jr. suggested that RDC organize a Technical Working Group (TWG) to help the Cordillera lawmakers as they prepare to defend the bill in Congress.
Dalog said it would be more difficult to defend the bill during congressional hearings especially because two previous organic acts had been rejected by the people.
Please conduct surveys to pulse the people’s sentiments on a third organic act and furnish us too with studies that show Regional Autonomy is a better alternative to what we have now, he said.