By Shah Balaw-ing

As agreed during the Leaders Forum which was convened by the Cordillera Congressional Representatives last September 25, 2013, the Regional Development Council (RDC) will be conducting provincial and sectoral consultations on the proposed house bill on Cordillera Regional Autonomy prior to the conduct of a regional autonomy summit.

According to the RDC Vice Chairman and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director Milagros A. Rimando, the pre-summit activities are aimed to generate widespread support and to identify issues and proposed amendments on the proposed House Bill.

First of these activities is a media powwow scheduled in November 18 in Tuba, Benguet where eighty media practitioners, including campus journalists, all over the region are expected to attend.  The Philippine Information Agency will be convening the powwow.

The regional line agency (RLAs) directors through the Cordillera Association of Regional Executives (CARE) will also hold a forum on the issue in November 19.  There are about 70 members of CARE, but more than a hundred are expected as assistant regional directors are also participating.

Provincial consultations are also scheduled in December. Representatives from barangays, “tribes” or “sub-tribes” and “clans” or “sub-clans” are expected to participate.  Relatedly, the DILG is currently conducting IEC on regional autonomy for newly elected barangay and municipal officials.

The outputs of these pre-summit activities will be inputted in the regional summit scheduled early next year where it will be determined whether to file the House Bill as is or amend it first then refile.