November 28, 2022

BAGUIO CITY: A bill seeking to establish the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) has been approved by the committee on local government at the House of Representatives.

House Bill (HB) 3267, or the Cordillera Autonomous Region measure, had been refiled by Baguio Rep. Mark Go together with fellow Cordillera lawmakers Menchie Bernos, Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, Solomon Chungalao, Maximo Dalog Jr., Allen Jesse Mangaoang and Eric Yap.

It was approved by the House on third and final reading and was transmitted to the Senate in the previous Congress, but for lack of material time, the Senate was not able to act on the measure.

HB 3267 is set to be transmitted to the committees on appropriations and on ways and means to discuss its funding and revenue provisions before its submission for plenary consideration and approval.

Once passed into law, the Cordillera region will exercise meaningful self-governance where the people of the Cordillera will be “free to pursue their political, economic, social and cultural development within the framework of national sovereignty and in accordance with the Constitution.”

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The Cordillera region will remain an integral and inseparable part of the country’s territory, while transferring regional government powers to local government units, particularly in education, health, human resources, science and technology and people empowerment.

The bill also proposes an equitable and proportionate share in the country’s annual national revenue, as well as foreign-assisted projects.

Since 1987, according to Go, the Cordillera region has been placed under a transitory system of administration (Cordillera Administrative Region) in preparation for a politically autonomous Cordillera, and that the current administrative region was “not meant to serve our region in perpetuity.”

“The time is ripe for the region to fulfill its goals of autonomy as the political, economic, technological and social landscapes of the Cordillera have evolved,” he said.