September 26, 2022

BAUKO, Mountain Province – Thirty-six indigenous peoples mandatory representatives (IPMR) of different legislative bodies in the Cordillera passed a resolution last Sept. 14 urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to declare as urgent the passage of the House bill establishing the Cordillera Autonomous Region.

“It has been 35 long years since the passage of the 1987 Constitution mandating the creation of an autonomous region for the Cordillera,” the resolution stated.

Under Section 15 of Article 10, the Constitution mandates the creation of autonomous regions for Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera.

The resolution is an offshoot of a consensus made during a region-wide IPMR convention on autonomy spearheaded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (Opapru) in line with its celebration of the National Peace Consciousness Month.

“We are hopeful that the President will listen to our clamor since he is our brother from the north (Luzon),” said Benguet provincial IPMR Recto Alawas.

Cordillera remains an administrative region, a transitory region pending the passage and ratification of an autonomous organic law following the issuance of Executive Order 220 on July 15, 1987.

An ad hoc committee was also formed to plan another convention where the IPMRs aim to establish a regional organizational structure.

The said regional body is primarily intended to help push for measures and advocacies promoting the welfare of indigenous peoples of the Cordillera.

Presidential Peace Adviser Sec. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. assured the IPMRs of the Opapru’s continued support to their goal of achieving genuine peace, development and unity in the region.

“This activity is our way of showing respect to the rich culture and tradition of the region. All of you are a source of inspiration for the youth and younger generations to come,” Galvez told the participants of the IPMR convention.

During the 18th Congress, House Bill 10729, which intends to establish a Cordillera Autonomous Region, was approved on third reading on May 30.

The Senate counterpart measure, however, was not passed after the adjournment of the 18th Congress. Last month, all seven lawmakers of the Cordillera re-filed the bill as House Bill 3267. – Karlston Lapniten

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