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BONTOC, Mountain Province – Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey who is also the President of the League of the Municipalities in the Philippines (LMP) – Mountain Province Chapter joined the other officials in the province in voicing his support for the passing of the Cordillera Autonomy Bill.
House Bill 7778 is the third proposed law filed by Benguet Caretaker Congressman Eric Yap of the ACT-CIS Parylist with the intent of establishing autonomy for the Cordillera region in the 18th Congress alongside House Bill 5687 filed by all Cordillera lawmakers in 2019 as well as Senate Bill 1232 filed by Juan Miguel Zubiri.
The attempt to establish the Cordillera Autonomous Region was first presented for a plebiscite in 1990, but only the Province of Ifugao voted Yes. The second plebiscite was in 1998, but only the Province of Apayao voted Yes.
Mayor Odsey in his message during the 34th Cordillera Month Celebration at the Provincial Plaza on July 5, 2021, remarked that the theme “Working together Towards Cordillera Autonomy through Green Recovery” underscores the importance of unity and cooperation in the protection of the environment.
He remarked that the pandemic has made people in all walks of life turn to the green revolution. The abandoned and untilled lands have been cultivated. On the part of the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU), alongside the assistance from the national government, it worked out for the provision of livelihood projects to the constituents such as coffee growing and fruit trees production.
“The pandemic has brought the best in us. The og-ogfo culture has strengthened the bonds of the community as one people. COVID-19 has taught us a lesson. Indeed, we need one another. If we work together, we can build a better and healthier future. In so doing, we shall overcome,” the mayor emphasized.
With this, he rallied for the support of all Cordillerans to give similar strong support for the long pursuit of autonomous governance for the Cordillera.
“May our cry for an Autonomous Region of the Cordillera be achieved as our gift to our children and the next generations,” Odsey added.
The Cordillera month which is celebrated July of every year aims to showcase the rich culture and history of the Cordillera and the unwavering spirit of Cordillerans in pursuing regional autonomy. By Alpine L. Killa