By Shah Balaw-ing

Baguio City: During the pre-AdCom (Advisory Committee) meeting last August 15, 2013 presided over by RDC Vice Chairperson and NEDA CAR Director Milagros A. Rimando, several Congressional representatives of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), through their chiefs-of-staff, shared their priority legislative agenda.

Loreto Pangilinan, chief-of-staff of Cong. Nicasio Aliping of Baguio City, said that among the top priorities of Cong. Aliping is education. Cong. Aliping’s Office worked out vocational courses for eligible Baguio residents at Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Cong. Aliping is also seeking the conversion Irisan National High School to Irisan National Technical and Vocation High School. Moreover, Cong. Nicasio Aliping will soon discuss with the officials of University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) the possibility of opening the College of Law UPB. Aside from education, Pangilinan mentioned that an Organic Act for CAR is also one of Cong. Aliping’s priorities.

Congresswoman Eleanor Bulut-Begtang of Apayao, according to her chief-of-staff Guillermo Ablan, Jr., prioritizes programs and projects on poverty alleviation. Apayao, according to the First Semester 2012 Poverty Statistics released by the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), has 58.9 percent Family Poverty Incidence.  This is the second highest poverty incidence among provinces in the whole country.

Meanwhile, Felix Baguilat, chief-of-staff of Cong. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. reported that the Ifugao congressman continues advocacies for the Indigenous Peoples (IPs). Cong. Baguilat filed a bill providing for IPs scholarship program, a bill to include ethnic origin in the national survey conducted by the National Statistics Office, a bill creating a joint congressional oversight committee for the Indigenous Peoples Right Act, among others. Like Aliping, Cong. Baguilat also prioritizes the filing of a bill for an autonomous Cordillera, said his chief of staff.

The pre-AdCom meeting was presided over by RDC CAR Vice Chairperson and NEDA CAR Director Milagros A. Rimando.