Baguio City:  The Regional Development Council (RDC), in a special meeting last October 13, 2011 at Ating Tahanan, Barangay South Drive here, officially adopted the working draft of a Cordillera Third Autonomy Act through RDC Resolution No. CAR-.20, s. 2011. 

“The draft, though a work-in-progress, embodies the ideas and aspirations of the Cordillera for self-determination and socio-economic development in accordance with the provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution,” states the RDC resolution.

The resolution endorses the working draft to the members of the House of Representatives for thorough assessment and consideration and asked secretariat to reproduce it and furnish all stakeholders also for their assessment and consideration.

The special meeting also urged LGUs to prepare resolutions urging their congressmen to support the working draft.

The working draft is the final output of the Third Autonomy Act Drafting Committee (TAADC), which the RDC formed in August 2010 with Mayor Mauricio Domogan of Baguio City elected as chairman. References in preparing it were the two previous organic acts; consolidated results of consultations conducted by RDC since 2006 when it decided to renew the pursuit of regional autonomy; and consolidated results of consultations conducted through TAADC.  It also considered position papers submitted by individuals and organizations.

The next step is to submit the working draft to the House of Representatives so that a bill for a Third Cordillera Organic Act can now be passed. Domogan previously emphasized that Congress is the only body with full authority to pass an Organic Act and that TAADC is just helping Congress pass the law and making things easier for public dissemination before a plebiscite. 

The RDC is now trying to arrange a meeting with CAR congressmen through the Advisory Committee (AdCom), which is composed of interested congressmen from the region and members of the RDC Executive Committee, in order for them to discuss the working draft.