BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan was elated over the positive reception of the members of the Constitutional Commission (ConCom) on the renewed quest for autonomy by the Cordillera pursuant to the 1987 Constitution.
Domogan, who was present during the regular ConCom meeting in Metro Manila Tuesday afternoon, said that he was able to ventilate the importance of the establishment of an autonomous region in the Cordillera prior to the shift in the form of government from the present unitary to federal in the future.
“We were made to understand that the present administration is inclined to change the current unitary form of government to federal but not strictly federal like other federal governments in the world because what will be in place will be a model suitable to the prevailing condition in the country,” Domogan stressed.
Further, he was able to elicit the support of the 19-member ConCom composed of veteran constitution experts to help advance the region’s cause of autonomy towards federalism or autonomy within a federal state that will be established once the amendment of the 1987 Constitution will push through.
In case the region will not be able to achieve autonomy once the shift in the form of government will be put in place, he revealed that he was able to impart to the ConCom members the importance of maintaining the provision in the new constitution that will still allow the establishment of an autonomous region in the Cordillera so that it will be a continuous work in progress by the present and future generations of Cordillerans.
According to him, the model of federalism being considered by the ConCom members will be suitable to the prevailing situation in the country so that the national government will still have a semblance of supervision and control over the federal states and the local governments to guarantee equitable opportunities for development, especially in the under developed regions like the Cordillera.
He claimed what is important is that the issue on the region’s renewed quest for autonomy has been ventilated in the ConCom which was created by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to serve as an advisory body to Congress on the mode of amending the 1987 Constitution and the planned shift to federal form of government during the remaining years of the present administration.
Planned shift to federal form of government so that the region will not be again divided that will deprive the Cordillerans with the needed representation to the federal state where the region will belong and for the existence of an autonomous region within a federal state.
Earlier, the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera embraced autonomy as its overarching agenda to speed up the development of the region through the greater control of the region’s resources with lesser restraint from outside forces as it is envisioned that it will help move the people out from the shackles of poverty in the future./By Dexter A. See