July 15, 2024

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Some 50 punong barangays and village officials across Mountain Province signed a manifesto here on Oct. 27 urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to declare as urgent the passage of the House Bill 3267 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 manifesto stated.
Under Section 15 of Article 10, the Constitution mandates the creation of autonomous regions for Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera.
The manifesto is an offshoot of a consensus made during a forum on autonomy spearheaded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (Opapru).
It also supports the August 2022 resolution of the Liga ng mga Barangay of the Cordillera, similarly urging Marcos to declare the bill urgent, said Alfonso Ligos Jr., President of Mountain Province’s Liga ng mga Barangay.
“With the two documents, hopefully the President will grant our desire for autonomy before we will end our terms,” said Ligos.
The 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.
Opapru consultant Thomas Killip said their agency will exert all the support possible to reach the goal of achieving genuine autonomy for the region.
“We are hoping that the overwhelming clamor for autonomy from various sectors will not fall on deaf ears because this has been deprived to us for a long time,” said Killip.
During the 18th Congress, House Bill 10729, which intended to establish 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.
This August, all seven lawmakers of the Cordillera refiled the approved bill as House Bill 3267. – Karlston Lapniten