BAGUIO CITY – Cordillera leaders renewed their all-out support to the ongoing quest for the establishment of the Autonomous Region in the Cordillera (ARC) amidst the prevailing dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic that stalled numerous activities geared towards achieving the constitutional mandate.
During the virtual declaration of support to autonomy that was part of the main program of the celebration of the 33rd founding anniversary of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Congress representatives, governors and vice governors reiterated their previous commitment to support the region’s quest for autonomy seeing self-governance as the vehicle in spurring countryside development aside from moving most people out from the shackles of poverty.
Abra Gov. Maria Jocelyn V. Bernos, who is also the current chair of the Regional Development Council (RDC), Apayao Vice-Governor Remy Albano, Benguet Gov. Melchor D. Diclas, Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, Ifugao Gov. Jerry Dalipog, Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao, Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang, Kalinga Gov. Ferdinand Tubban, Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr. and Mountain Province Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. came out with their respective statements of support to advance the quest for autonomy in their jurisdiction to guarantee the realization of the autonomous region once the third organic shall have been enacted into law.
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The declaration of support to the region’s quest for autonomy was part of the main program of the 33rd CAR founding anniversary to ensure that unwavering and uncompromising support of all leaders in advancing autonomy among their constituency once the autonomy law will be submitted to the Cordillerans for ratification in the future.
According to them, it is high time the region achieve autonomy because so the regional government can be the one crafting programs, projects, activities and policies to suitable to the prevailing situation and condition of the Cordillera, unlike in the present set up where the national government dictates the priority development programs for the whole country without considering the actual situation in the various areas with peculiar conditions, like the Cordillera.
Further, the local officials and the private sector representatives underscored that the region should benefit from the exploitation, development and utilization of the existing natural resources, unlike in the present situation where the national government only provides limited share to local governments hosting the operation of companies developing the available resources in various parts of the country.
The concerned officials pointed out the need to advance the region’s quest for autonomy because self-governance will definitely translate to better development opportunities opening the floodgates for the development of remote villages that had been left out in the identification of priority projects being undertaken by concerned government agencies maximizing the available limited resources of thee government.
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