Staying true to their word during the Regional Summit, all of the seven Cordillera representatives have finally signed and filed the House Bill 4649, An Act Establishing the Cordillera Autonomous Region, on June 11, just in time before the session in Congress goes on recess.
HB 4649 was drafted by a technical working group (TWG), composed of the chiefs-of-staff of the Cordillera Solons, representatives of the Regional Development Council (RDC), and provincial and city government units, in a technical writeshop coordinated by NEDA-CAR on June 2-5 in Baguio City.
Suggestions brought up during the RDC-led provincial, city and sectoral pre-summit consultation were reviewed and integrated into the working draft, the previously filed HB 5595. The TWG agreed that as long as a proposed provision is not controversial, such recommendation must be accommodated in the working draft.
The Congressmen evaluated the output of the technical writeshop and finalized the draft bill before submitting it in the Committee on Local Government.
The RDC requested to participate in the Committee deliberations for the said Bill , which will be held once the Congress resumes its session in July.
Moreover, NEDA-CAR is currently preparing to intensify the advocacy for autonomy. A workshop on Enhanced Provincial IEC for Cordillera Autonomy will be conducted on June 19. The said workshop intends to generate action plans that are contextualized with politico-social organizations’ interest in the provinces for the remaining months of the year, and to unite key autonomy players in the provinces and cities where Information, Education, communication (IEC) and Alliance Building campaigns could be focused on.
by Christine Mamuyac, SPCAR