TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang vowed to engage other Cordillera lawmakers to work out the immediate passage in the House committee on local government the pending bills seeking the establishment of the Autonomous Region in the Cordillera (ARC), saying that the same will be their priority once Congress will resume its regular sessions on January 18, 2021.
Mangaoang, who chairs the House committee on national cultural communities and indigenous peoples, said he will also be discussing with his fellow Cordillera lawmakers the strategies to use to convince the members of the House committee to pass the pending autonomy bills as they already got the support from other lawmakers.
Further, he disclosed he will also personally talk with Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap to seek his assistance in advancing the pending autonomy bills in the House committee and in the plenary as his legacy for the Cordillerans, having aggressively pushed for the passage of the same during the 18th Congress.
Pending before the House committee on local government is House Bill (HB) 5687 authored by all Cordillera congressman and HB 7778 authored by Congressman Yap that seek to establish the ARC for the realization of the region’s aspirations for self-governance.
Mangaoang claimed the initial hearing of the House committee on local government that caused the creation of a technical working group (TWG) to study the possible legal impediments to the passage of the autonomy law is a welcome development because the pending bills started moving in the committee level, thus, the need to submit the TWG recommendations for the bills to be immediately reported out subject to plenary debates.
According to him, it is important for the Cordillerans to take advantage of the enabling environment being offered by President Rodrigo Duterte for the region’s third attempt in the quest for self-rule as the next administration may not prioritize the clamor for Cordillera regional autonomy.
Representative Mangaoang underscored that autonomy is the way to go for the Cordillera so that the autonomous regional government can formulate appropriate programs, projects and activities suitable to the current state of the region unlike in the present set up where the region solely relies on the dictates of the central government even if the same are not applicable to the prevailing condition in the different parts of the Cordillera.