February 1, 2023

The city council has passed a resolution creating a sub-committee under the committee on indigenous peoples with the primary task to educate the public about House Bill 3267 or “An Act Establishing the Cordillera Autonomous Region.”
The sub-committee shall consist of at least one lawyer, one female, and representatives of the Association of Barangay Councils and the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation.
The sub-committee shall hold regular public fora in coordination with other government and non-government organizations, inviting guest speakers from concerned stakeholders using available resources and facilities of the city government. It shall submit periodic reports on the outcome of the fora to the city council’s committee on indigenous peoples and to all the representatives of the Cordillera to the Congress.
Councilor Jose Molintas, author of the resolution, said the active participation of the public should be encouraged “in order to achieve a genuine autonomous region.”
“Conversation, dialogues, and debates should be held in an appropriate forum in coordination with the other local government units and line agencies as well as active involvement of peoples organizations, NGOs, the academe, the media, and all sectors of the society,” Molintas wrote in the resolution.
In 1990 and 1998, plebiscites were conducted in the region to legalize autonomy of the area. However, majority of the voters rejected the autonomy bills.
Molintas attributed the rejection to the insufficient understanding of the public on the need to convert the present status of the area from being an administrative region to an autonomous region.
He claimed there is an urgent need to involve the public in studying the provision of HB 2367 so that they will be informed and consulted about their aspirations for a genuine autonomous region to be incorporated in the discussions in the Congress and the Senate.
He said this will prevent another rejection. 
On Aug. 8, 2022, HB 3267 was filed by all Cordillera representatives, seeking for the establishment of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera. – Jordan G. Habbiling