BAGUIO CITY – The drafting committee for the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera Organic Law met in a three-day workshop from May 22th to 24th to consolidate inputs gathered from various groups, agencies, organizations, and individuals and to suggest revisions to the previously filed House Bill 5343, an Act Establishing the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera (ARC). The Regional Development Council (RDC) will recommend the outputs as proposed amendments to House Bill 5343 to the CAR representatives who will hopefully file the new bill in the coming months.
The workshop consisted of an expanded network of experts and Cordillera autonomy advocates with resource persons invited from different sectors and organizations to share their expertise and knowledge on specific topics and selected provisions of the draft. Civil society organizations, law firms, public and private universities, research institutions were also given the chance to express their views on the proposed Cordillera Organic Act.
Baguio City Mayor and RDC Chair Mauricio Domogan, Atty. Jose Molintas, and Baguio City Representative Mark Go all shared their insights in drafting the proposed Cordillera Autonomy law for the 18th Congress.
Go also committed to gather all the incoming Cordillera representatives to discuss their strategy for the proposed law to facilitate its passing in the 18th Congress. Also in attendance and providing their wisdom were Bayanihan Federal Constitution Commissioner Virgilio Bautista and former NCIP Commissioner Zenaida Pawid.
Dr. Jedidia Aquino remarked that the diverse membership of the committee will ensure the multi-sectoral perspectives of the bill inputs. The Regional Development Council-Cordillera through NEDA-CAR assembled the committee to review and improve on the House Bill based on previous versions of the Cordillera autonomy law and the more recent suggestions from various consultations, forums, and assemblies such as the Cordillera Indigenous’ Peoples Legislative Assembly (IPLA) initiated by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples – Cordillera (NCIP-CAR). The RDC plans to turn over the suggested inputs by July of this year to the incoming CAR representatives.
By Marlo Lubguban