The Regional Development Council (RDC) found more allies in the Senate in its bid for Cordillera regional autonomy. Two senators, Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino, expressed their support to Cordillera Autonomy in their recent visits to the region.
Trillanes, who served as guest speaker during the 27th Cordillera Day celebration in Abra, told local leaders to unite in their push for autonomy and explain to the people the benefits of such a set-up.
“I am for it as I know it would give you better control over your resources and will bring economic progress for your people,” he said.
Aquino, who spoke during the 3rd founding anniversary of the Cordillera Youth Leaders last July 19, 2014 in Baguio City, said: “I am willing to fight for the concerns of Cordillerans because I have known their struggle over the past several decades just to gain a permanent regional identity and to get a bigger share from the exploitation of their natural resources to perk up the region’s economic growth.
He challenged Cordillera youth to advocate regional autonomy because the present and future generations will be the ones to reap its fruits in terms of development and inclusive growth.
Another senator, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, filed Senate Bill 3115 during the previous Congress which served as the Senate version of House Bill (HB) 5995 An Act Creating a Cordillera Autonomous Region.
During the summit on regional autonomy in April 30, 2014, the senator sent representatives to observe the proceedings. In a visit of the members of the RDC in his office last May, his senior staff assured the group that Senator Pimentel will file again a Senate Bill on regional autonomy.
Last June 11, 2014, the Cordillera congressmen re-filed the Act Creating a Cordillera Autonomous Region, which is now known as HB 4649.
by Mike Umaming, NEDA-CAR