House body okays consolidated Cordillera autonomy bill

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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The House committee on local government approved the consolidated version of the pending bills seeking the establishment of the Cordillera Autonomous Region that will greatly help in advancing the measure to the plenary in the coming weeks.

Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang, chairman of the House Committee on National Cultural Minorities and Indigenous Peoples and one of the principal authors of one of the bills seeking the establishment of the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), disclosed that the consolidated version of the autonomy bills already incorporated the suggestions and recommendations of the concerned sectors that helped enhanced the contents of the proposed measure to prevent the repeat of the problems of the past.

He claimed that after the approval of the consolidated version of the autonomy bill at the committee level, this will be transmitted to the House Committee on Rules chaired by House Majority Floor Leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez for its inclusion in the calendar of business of the bills that will be deliberated in plenary while the House is currently working on the deliberations of the proposed P5.024 trillion national budget next year.

The Kalinga lawmaker stipulated that there will be no serious concern once the matter will be referred to the House Committee on Appropriations because the chairman, Benguet Caretaker Congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap, is one of the authors of the consolidated version while he was also able to personally convince Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House committee on ways and means, to support the aforesaid initiative when the matter will be referred to his committee.

Mangaoang, who personally bring the matter to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte just last month, revealed that included in the timetable of the Cordillera congressmen on the proposed autonomy bill, is to have the same passed before Congress goes on recess on September 30, 2021 so that it will be immediately transmitted to the Senate for the eventual passage of the pending counterpart bill authored by Senate Majority Floor Ladder Juan Miguel Zubiri.

According to him, the mere fact that officials of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) went around the Cordillera last week to conduct consultations on the proposed autonomy bills for the Cordillera is a good sign that the President is considering the issuance of the certification that the bills pending in both chambers of Congress are priority administration measures that need to be acted upon the soonest.

He pointed out that once that the President’s certification will be issued, the pending autonomy bills can be immediately passed on second and third readings in just one day unlike in the normal course of things where the said bills, if approved on second reading, will have to wait for 3 days before it will be calendared and approved on third and final reading.

Senate Bill 1232 or the Senate counterpart bill of the house version of the Cordillera autonomy bills is currently pending with the House Committee on Local Government chaired by Senator Francis Tolentino. By HENT

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