House panel approves measure creating CAR Philippine News Agency

House panel approves measure creating CAR Featured

BAGUIO CITY: The House Committee on Local Government has approved House Bill (HB) 3267 authored by all Cordillera district representatives that seeks to establish the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).

However, the panel led by Valenzuela First District Rep. Rex Gatchalian referred the proposed autonomy law to the House Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Ways and Means for the approval of the financial aspect of the measure.

The approval of the bill on the committee level was done in the physical and virtual presence of the authors Abra Rep. Menchie Bernos, Apayao Rep. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang, Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao, Kalinga Rep. Allen Jesse Mangaoang and Mountain Province Rep. Maximo Dalog Jr.

During the early stages of the proceedings, Gatchalian was inclined to order the creation of a technical working group that will look into the contents of the proposed autonomy law as he was of the impression that it was not passed on third reading during the 18th Congress.

But Mangaoang invoked Rule 10, Section 48 of the internal rules of procedures of the House, which provided that if a bill that was approved on third reading in the previous Congress will be refiled and will not be contested by any member or resource person, the same can be immediately passed by the concerned House committee dispensing of the deliberations as it is presumed that the matters have been extensively deliberated upon by the members of the House.

He added that the authors will work closely together to lobby for the immediate passage of the proposed measure with the House Committee on Ways and Means headed by Albay Second District Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente "Joey" Salceda and the House Committee on Appropriations led by Ako Bicol Rep. Zaldy Co.

The Kalinga lawmaker pointed out that the early passage of the bill in the committee level will allow the authors to have the time to work with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the issuance of the important certification that this is a priority administration measure so that both chambers of Congress will act on the proposed measure with dispatch.

On Aug. 8, 2022, all the Cordillera representatives filed HB 3267 that seeks to create the CAR to ensure there will be sufficient time for it to be acted upon by the concerned committees tasked to render their approval of the measure, especially the financial provisions of the bill.

Last May 30, 2022, the House approved on third and final reading the consolidated HB 10729 seeking for the establishment of the CAR which will be composed of provinces and cities that will ratify the Organic Act during a plebiscite that will be scheduled for the said purpose.

On May 31, 2022, the approved House bill was subsequently referred to the Senate for the supposed passage of its counterpart measure in the upper chamber but it was too late considering that the 18th Congress had adjourned.

Mangaoang asserted that it is now time for the Cordillera to achieve autonomy so that it can catch up with the pace of development of other regions with the crafting of programs, policies and activities by the regional government, which are applicable to the context of the region to guarantee the desired progress for all.

The 1987 Constitution mandates the establishment of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera through the enactment of enabling laws.

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