ARTICLE II

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES

 

Section 4. The Cordillera Autonomous Region is an integral and inseparable territorial and political subdivision of the Philippines.

The Cordillerans, as citizens of the Philippines, shall uphold the Constitution as the fundamental law of the land and unequivocally owe allegiance and fidelity to the Republic.

National government officials and employees, agencies or instrumentalities are bound by the Constitution and national laws, to recognize and respect the rights of the Cordillerans as citizens of the Philippines, and the autonomy of the region.

Section 5. The success of the Cordillera Autonomous Region is lodged both on the determination of its people to pursue and maintain regional autonomy, and the genuine and complete devolution of powers and functions by the national government, including assets, finances, and other resources, to the regional autonomous government.

(a) The national government shall provide financial support and assistance to the Cordillera Autonomous Region by appropriating such sums as may be necessary to accelerate the development of the autonomous region, on top of and aside from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) provided therewith and the Local Government Units as well as the allocations already provided through the regional line agencies.

(b) The national government shall consult and coordinate with the autonomous Regional Government before programs and projects are undertaken in the autonomous region.

Section 6. The local government units shall continue to be independent from each other, enjoy autonomy and shall continue to exercise the powers granted them under the Local Government Code and other existing laws, but may enter into joint ventures beneficial to them.

Section 7. The Regional Government and its constituent units shall promote partnership to accelerate regional development.

Section 8. The Cordillerans shall uphold the State principle that all government authority emanates from the people. Thus, Cordillerans anchor their Identity on their common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics particular to themselves as Cordillerans. Development shall take into consideration the local culture (customs, traditions and technologies) as well as adaptation to recent cultural influences which may be beneficial to them.

Wherever applicable, and whenever it is useful, without contravening morals and public policies, local indigenous customary laws, traditions, practices and institutions are hereby recognized and may be availed of by appropriate parties.

Section 9. The protection, dynamic conservation, sustainable management and utilization of natural resources and environment of the region and provision for basic human needs and decent standard of living for its people shall be an essential dimension of regional development.

(a) The exploration, development and utilization of the region's natural resources shall be consistent with the principles of sustainable development management systems and practices.

(b) The Cordillerans shall have prior and preferential right to the natural, material, and fiscal resources of the region.

(c) Following the Indigenous Peoples Right Act (IPRA) law, the Regional Government shall ensure for the Cordillerans the right to secure for themselves their ancestral lands and domains, develop their economy, protect and promote their cultural heritage, their right to equitable shares and benefits from the use and development of the natural resources within their domains, and to establish a system of self governance that will promote both their common good and development. Likewise, the Cordillera Autonomous Region shall recognize and adopt the use of environment-friendly and sustainable indigenous knowledge systems and practices in the management of natural resources.

(d) The Cordillera Autonomous Region shall adopt a balanced, sustainable economic growth and development supported by appropriate researches for the benefit and advantage of the Cordillerans.

Section 10. The Cordillera Autonomous Region shall pursue a policy of coordination and cooperation, especially its neighbouring Northern Luzon Regions, in its development efforts taking into account the conservation and protection of the natural environment as an essential dimension of regional development. The Regional Government shall consider as paramount ecological balance, mutual development interests, a balanced and sustainable economic growth, and the peoples' right to self-determination in cooperative economic development undertakings with the other regions.

Section 11. The common good, general welfare and social justice require equal access to resources, employment, and services by all Cordillerans, ethnic, social, and economic sectors and the adoption of measures for the democratic sharing of wealth, power and opportunities without distinction based on ethnic origin, gender, language, political conviction, economic and social status or religious belief. The Regional Government shall:

(a) Adopt measures to alleviate the people from poverty, generate employment and develop a self-reliant economy.

(b) Adopt policies necessary to minimize the disparities between the rich and the poor among rural and urban areas and among territorial subdivisions, to ensure access to essential services, employment and other opportunities and sharing of wealth and resources and for these purposes, it shall formulate programs for the optimal and judicious use and development of the resources within the region's component provinces and cities and implement these after due consultation in accordance with applicable national laws and this Organic Act;

(c) Ensure consumer protection.

(d) Promote and harmonize the interests of both labor and capital, while protecting their respective right.

(e) Ensure that women and men enjoy equality before the law, and shall, in particular, prevent gender discrimination in the practice of profession, employment opportunities or promotion.

Section 12. The Cordillerans are entitled to active, free and meaningful participation in, contribution to, and enjoyment of development in which human rights and fundamental freedoms can be realized.

It is the primary duty of the Regional Government to promote, ensure and protect the basic individual and collective rights of its constituents and the general welfare of all people as enshrined in the Constitution and this Organic Act.

  1. Cordillerans have the right, especially through their community and organizations, such as but not limited to movements and traditional and customary aggrupations, to participate and be equitably represented at appropriate levels of social, economic, and political decision-making and be consulted as stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of local, regional, and national priorities, plans, programs and projects that affect the Cordilleran's general welfare, and to monitor their successful implementation.

  2. The Regional Government shall recognize the role of private sector organizations, such as, but not limited to movements and traditional and customary aggrupations, to initiate the monitoring and investigation of fund utilization, work contracts and project implementation, and the filing of charges for irregularities.

  3. The Regional Government shall pursue a policy of holding prior consultation or public hearings on matters of national and regional priorities, plans and programs as well as transparency in the implementation of projects affecting the constituents of the local government units concerned.

  4. The Regional Government shall encourage participation by ensuring that the people have access to development processes, institutions, information and redress or complaint mechanisms. The Regional Government shall give preference to strategies for empowerment for its people to have the power, capacities and access needed to improve their lives, their communities and direct their own destinies.

Section 13. The Cordillera Autonomous Region recognizes that the home is the cradle of the holistic development of and the primary agent of education for the Cordillera youth. The Regional Government shall:

  1. Promote family-centered values that nurture the development of the young;

  2. Guarantee the youth's effective participation and representation in public affairs;

  3. Enact laws and adopt measures necessary to protect children against all forms of neglect, cruelty, and exploitation harmful to their moral, physical, or mental health, in all circumstances and settings.

Section 14. The Cordillera Autonomous Region shall establish, within the framework of the national system of education as defined in the Constitution and national laws, accessible and affordable educational system, both formal and non-formal, that:

  1. Inculcates respect for human rights and the dignity of work.

  2. Respects and promotes indigenous culture and practices.

  3. Encourages use of indigenous languages and methods of education.

  4. Encourages creativity and critical thinking.

  5. Promotes science and appropriate technology.

  6. Responds to the needs of Cordillera communities.

Section 15. State colleges and universities in the region shall provide relevant researches and assistance to the development of the region.

Section 16. Consistent with the Constitution and national laws, the Regional Government shall:

  1. Provide incentives to investors, corporations and businesses but shall adopt measures to prevent the abuse of natural and human resources;

  2. Ensure that such activities contribute to the development of wealth and equitable sharing of revenues with the host communities and local government units;

  3. Review all forms of foreign aid, loans and special projects to safeguard autonomy and enhance development;

  4. Set rules and guidelines for energy production, public transportation and communication;

  5. Prohibit the development, storage, use or transport of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons within the region.

Section 17. The Cordillerans aspire for peace founded on democracy, justice, righteousness, and respect to the dignity of human life. The promotion of peace shall include the renunciation of all forms of lawlessness, violence, cruelty, vengeance, and discrimination and the application of customary system and indigenous practices, cultural traditions that promote peace, conflict avoidance and resolution.

Section 18. Civilian authority shall remain supreme at all times for the protection of the freedom of the people and for the promotion of their safety and welfare.

Section 19. The right of Indigenous Peoples to use their own commonly accepted justice systems, conflict resolution institutions, peace-building processes or mechanisms and other customary laws and practices, within their respective jurisdictions, shall be respected.

Except under a state of emergency, no active military personnel shall be appointed or designated to any public position which is civilian in character, including government-owned or controlled corporations or any of their subsidiaries under control, supervision and management of the Cordillera Autonomous Region.

Section 20. In the administration of the affairs of the Cordillera Autonomous Region, the Regional Government shall, at all times, adopt and espouse the principles of integrity, transparency, accountability and democracy:

  1. Decision-making and all transactions involving public interest shall be subject to full disclosure at every stage, to foster confidence in the integrity and honesty of the leadership, except those affecting national and regional security;

  2. The responsible use of power by the leadership and the institutions of the Regional Government for the advancement of the general welfare requires that those who hold positions of public trust shall, at all times, account for their performance to the public;

  3. Effective accountability requires appropriate external feedback and should be linked to appropriate incentive and penalty system.

Section 21. The Regional Government shall institute measures to promote courtesy, impartiality and integrity in public service and to eradicate nepotism, favoritism, graft and corruption, red tape and waste.

Section 22. The Regional Government shall take measures to prevent torture, other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment, and illegal detention and extra-judicial executions.

Section 23. Subject to the Constitution and national policies, the Regional Government shall pursue reconciliation efforts and promote peace and demilitarization in the region.