Draft EO strengthens Cordillera autonomy campaign: RDC vice chair

“The draft Executive Order will advance the autonomy pursuit of the region, not derail it.”

This was the assurance given by the RDC Vice-Chairperson and NEDA-CAR Director Milagros Rimando during the RDC Full Council meeting held on February 11, 2015 in response to queries on whether the draft EO, suggested by President Aquino himself, means giving up on CAR’s aspiration to become autonomous.

Rimando said that the draft executive order entitled “Accelerating the Economic Growth and Social Development of the Cordillera Administrative Region and Enhancing its Social Preparation Towards Autonomy” essentially strengthens the status of CAR as a special region as it continues its pursuit for autonomy.

It provides for additional funds to the region through the appropriation of sums to accelerate the economic growth and social development of the region, over and above the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) provided to Local Government Units as well as the allocations already being provided through the Regional Line Agencies.

For instance, it highlights Section 22 of EO 220 which provides that CAR and its LGUs shall, “as part of the BIR allotment to the region, have at least 50% share in the taxes and other government revenues generated in the region’s territorial coverage”.
This section of EO 220 has not been implemented since 1987 when the order was issued.

To date, all of CAR’s congressmen and governors have endorsed the draft EO. Congressman Cosalan updated the RDC on the request for House Speaker Sonny Belmonte to arrange for a meeting with President Aquino so that they, together with the Speaker, can personally handcarry the draft EO to him.#