BAGUIO CITY – The House Committee on Local Governments has approved the passage of House Bill 4649, or Act Creating the Cordillera Autonomous Region, at the committee level paving the way for its endorsement to the plenary for second reading.

This was reported by Baguio Rep. Nicasion M. Aliping Jr. who added the committee approval was made last February 1. Aliping was tasked by Committee Chair Pedro Acharon to head the ad hoc committee to conduct public consultations on the matter.

Aliping said that after seven consultations in the six provinces and Baguio City, no objection to the draft was received by the ad hoc committee and ensuring the swift approval of the measure at Acharon’s committee.

Mt. Province Rep. Maximo Dalog read the committee report before the committee last February 1.

Dalog read, “The Ad hoc Committee received no objection, or major proposal to amend the proposed measure, in fact, those who attended the public consultations expressed their overwhelming support for the passage of the proposed measure. The Committee is in receipt of several manifestos, resolutions coming from the local governments of the Cordilleras including non-government and peoples’ organizations, endorsing and supporting the proposed measure which was presented to them during the public hearings.”

The bill gained the support of Quezon City Rep. Winston Castello and Rep. Carlos Padilla of Nueva Vizcaya, who also signified his interest of co-authoring the bill together with all the Cordillera lawmakers.

Cagayan De Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez said that under the new rules of the house, it will be a priority bill in the same committee if refiled in the 17th Congress.

No objections or amendments on the proposed Cordillera autonomy bill were posed by members of the committee present in the hearing which motioned for its approval./Carl C. Taawan


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