BAGUIO CITY –Thirty-three mayors in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) have signed a manifesto to be delivered to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, asking him to declare the House Bill (HB) 5343 a priority bill.
HB 5343 is “the Act establishing the Autonomous Region in the Cordillera”.
The manifesto of the Cordillera League of Cities and Municipalities is in Resolution 01-2017 entitled “Supporting the establishment of an autonomous region of the Cordillera by urging President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to certify the House Bill 5343 as urgent and priority measure, and including the Cordillera Regional Autonomy agenda in his State of the Nation Address.”
As Monday, there were already 33 mayors who have signed the manifesto, which is being brought to the different towns in the region to allow the mayors to sign them. Cordillera has six provinces and two cities or a total of 77 Cordillera mayors.
The resolution says “the current administration is pushing earnestly for a shift from a unitary to a federal form of government. The establishment of an autonomous region in the cordillera is aligned with the principles of a federal form of government.”
It also said that the Regional Development Council-Cordillera already passed a resolution supporting the establishment of an autonomous region of the cordillera, and is urging President Duterte to certify HB 5343 as urgent.
Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan said they were confident the bill when approved by congress would be approved by the residents.
“The Cordillera Congressmen have all signed the bill and supports the establishment of the autonomous region. There are no opposition to the proposal” and the officials in the different provinces and municipalities are supportive considering the benefits that the region will reap once the Cordillera transcends from an administrative to an autonomous region, he said.
The manifesto was opened on Friday here, during the Cordillera mayors’ summit at Mansion House, which gained full support of all the attendee-mayors.
In July 15, 1986, former President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order 220 creating the Cordillera Administrative Region with the mandate to administer the affairs of the government in the region, and prepare for the establishment of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera.
As the region celebrates its 30th year as an administrative region on July 15, the leaders are drumming up the call for the passage of the bill and eventually go through the process of Plebiscite which will determine its fate as mandated in the 1986 Constitutional provision for the creation of the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cordillera. Liza Agoot/ PNA-northboundasia.com