By Delmar Car
Thanks to Governor Fongwan’s initiative, the information campaign for regional autonomy in Benguet is set to go full blast this June. Despite his own reservations on House Bill 5595 and Senate Bill 3115, the governor has pushed for the grassroots a highly aggressive and massive information dissemination on the provisions of the autonomy bills. All that the governor wants is come plebiscite time, the people of Benguet could vote intelligently. His pitch is that from Longlong in La Trinidad to Badeo in Kibungan and Kayapa in Bakun, autonomy must be made crystal clear.
That’s fair enough. Before, the people voted “no” to autonomy because they did not understand it. If ever they heard about it, they just could not relate it to their pockets or dining tables.
The wish now is for the people to cast a vote based on their admiration or repugnance of autonomy as defined in the autonomy bills. That is better than those who simply junk autonomy without having read and appreciated the bills’ contents. To them, autonomy is detestable and the campaign for it a waste of time. Well, that’s disturbing.
But judging from the meeting of local officials last June 8 at the Provincial Capitol to map out strategies on how to reach the province’s 13 towns, the campaign for autonomy looks headed for a rough sailing. The vice mayors alone who were present gave us a preview of what lies ahead.
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