Act establishing Cordillera Autonomous Region filed

By , on June 18, 2014

Photo by Robert Viñas / PCOO
Photo by Robert Viñas / PCOO

BAGUIO CITY -– Benguet representative Ronald Cosalan believes with reservation that House Bill (HB) 4649 filed last week will get the nod of the House of Representatives.

In an interview Tuesday, Cosalan fears that the proposal on the sharing and exploitation of the region’s natural resources will not pass.

Cosalan cited the 1986 Constitution stating that only the national government has control over the exploitation and use of natural resources.

If this happens, the Cordillera region will not have full autonomy as it will not be able to control authority over its natural resources.

The seven Lower House representatives of the Cordillera region filed House Bill 4649 or the Act Establishing the Cordillera Autonomous Region.

Representatives Nicasio Aliping Jr (Baguio City), Manuel Agyao (Kalinga), Teddy Baguilat Jr (Ifugao), Eleanor Bagtang (Apayao), Maximo Dalog Sr (Mt Province), Ma Jocelyn Bernos (Abra) and Ronald Cosalan (Benguet) signed and filed the bill last week.

Cosalan said he signed the bill for the sake of unity and insists that while the HB4649 is being processed, the Cordillera region should enjoy the privileges and benefits of a “regular region”.

In the last Congress, Cosalan and Bernos did not support HB5595 which was eventually shelved.

The HB4649 proponents believe that an autonomous region will help in achieving sustainable development and provide primary management of the resources in the region.

Cosalan is hoping that the concerned agencies will be convinced that there is an accord among the Cordillera representatives that resulted in HB4649.