STRATEGIES EXPLORED – CAR leaders and national partners exchange insights, updates and recommended actions to forward the proposed Cordillera Organic Act in Congress.

Pasig City – A dinner meeting hosted by the Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) and co-organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) gathered some representatives of ARMM Congressmen, OPAPP, some Cordillera leaders and the two members of the Constitutional Review Committee from CAR on February 15, 2018 in Pasig City.

The meeting aimed to explore strategies on how to advance the Cordillera Autonomy bills in Congress and Senate and generate support from ARMM Representatives and other national partners.

Benguet Congressman Cosalan said, “We really need the strong endorsement of the President in order for us to pursue the bill in the House [of Representatives] or least we can get it from the Peace Adviser Secretary Dureza”.

RDC Chair and Baguio City Mayor Domogan proposed that a meeting could be arranged with South Cotabato Cong. Pedro Acharon, Chair of the House Committee on Local Government, and Cong. Rodolfo Fariñas, Majority Leader, to request them to schedule the bill’s committee hearings. To this, Cosalan committed to arrange a meeting with them.

Atty. Benny Bacani of IAG, committed to sponsor a Senate Forum on Cordillera Autonomy which is similar to the Congressional Forum held on January 17. Members of the senate who may be potential allies were also identified.

Other plans include coordination meetings with the Senate and Congress officials, Committee officials, members of the media and opinion makers. Meantime, the planned meeting with President Duterte is still the priority action, where OPPAP Sec. Dureza will play a big part.

More national activities are lined up in partnership with IAG and OPAPP who both committed their support to the autonomy movement (by Mavie S. Pinkihan, NEDA- SPCAR).