Cordillera stakeholders prepare amendments to autonomy bill for 18th Congress

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THE MULTI-SECTOR drafting committee for the proposed Autonomous Region of the Cordillera (ARC) Organic Law has started consolidating inputs from stakeholders for amendments that will be proposed in the bill for refilling at the 18th Congress. In a statement on June 7, the Cordillera Administrative Region-Regional Development Council (CAR-RDC) said they aim to turn over the suggested revisions to House Bill 5343, An Act Establishing the ARC, by July of this year to the incoming CAR representatives. HB 5343 was filed at the just-concluded 17th Congress. Re-elected Baguio City Rep. Mark O. Go, at the consolidation workshop held on May 22-24, committed to gather all the incoming CAR representatives to discuss their strategy for the refiling of the bill and facilitate its passage in the incoming Congress. The CAR-RDC has drafted a roadmap to achieve Cordillera autonomy by 2021. The drafting committee held several consultations, forums, and assemblies around the region to gather suggestions on the ARC bill. The committee is composed of representatives from local governments, regional line agencies, indigenous peoples’ rights groups, civil society organizations, and the academe.