SAN FERNANDO, La Union, August 1, 2018 — The leadership of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is hopeful that the successful passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) will pave the way for the region’s own autonomy as provided for by the 1987 Constitution.

“Learning from the past failures, we want to achieve our autonomy by seeing to it that it is an improvement of our present situation,” Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) Chair and Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan said.

Domogan made the comments at the “Social Preparation of CAR into an Autonomous Region (SPCAR) Program Partners’ Workshop” where CAR officials reported on the status of the Autonomous Region of the Cordillera (ARC) roadmap and communications plan to around 70 participants hailing from various government agencies, media outlets, academe, and civil society organizations.

The workshop also gave participants an in-depth look on federalism and the regions’ fiscal powers under it.

House Bill 5343 and Senate Bill 1678 seek to establish the ARC, recognizing that the region is now stable and will continue to be sustainable.

Domogan said currently, CAR provinces are autonomous from each other, “with Congressional districts represented by elected officials and local government administrators exercising powers under existing laws.”

Each CAR province also receives a share from the national government’s Internal Revenue Allotments (IRA).

Domogan said what the CAR provinces want is a regional government “that has a legal personality with no diminution of our present powers and benefits that will assume certain powers, functions, and duties of the national government.”

He said this will enable the region “to formulate its own policies for development using its own resources with additional allocations and share from national taxes from the national government.”

“We will continue to exercise the powers that were granted to us and continue to receive benefits even if we will become autonomous in status,” he added.

The three-day workshop also honed the resource speakers who will be added to the region’s roster of champions for ARC.

The participants also crafted information, education, and communication (IEC) proposals and communications plans for their respective areas of influence.

The event was organized by the RDC-CAR and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-CAR), in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO), and the Presidential Communications Operations Office. ###