BAGUIO CITY – The researchers presented their initial work plan for the study on the fiscal viability of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera (ARC) to NEDA-CAR on April 16. NEDA-CAR engaged an in-house team of researchers who will study the fiscal viability of the region once the autonomous government is established. The 3-member team, led by Merialda Nadunop will undertake the study to determine the fiscal viability of an autonomous Cordillera by looking at and forecasting the expenditure requirements and revenue generation capacity of the region in the first ten years the autonomous regional government of the Cordillera. This is a 5-month study where the research team will be closely working with NEDA-CAR and the Organic Law Drafting Committee (OLDC).

The study, which is supported by NEDA Research and Development funds, will look into the current economic data and funds in the Cordillera region and refer to the various documents like the proposed Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) draft federal constitution, Resolution of Both Houses no. 15 (RBH15) proposing the revision of the 1987 Constitution, and various other studies and references in forecasting the regional economy of the ARC. A primary consideration is the legislation of the new organic act to establish the ARC. Currently, the team refers to House Bill 5343 filed in the 17th Congress.

Significant factors to be considered in drafting the new organic law are the subsidies and grants from the national government, the possible adaptation of the provisions of Bangsamoro Organic Law on political structure, and the relationship of the regional government with the national government.

The team will be joined by NEDA-CAR in meetings with the OLDC as the Fiscal Viability study is contingent upon the provisions of the new organic act. With Nadunop are John Joseph Bronola and Mary Ann Gaylican. The research team through NEDA-CAR will likewise regularly report the status of the project to the NEDA Central Office to ensure that the study will be implemented in accordance with the terms of reference.