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PIA Press Release

Domogan: We will push for autonomy, regardless of Cha-cha move to federal form of gov't

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (7 November) -- We are not giving up on our dream of autonomy and we will continue to push for it, even if move to change the present form of government to federalism has started.

So said Baguio Representative Mauricio Domogan in an interview when he graced the 47th anniversary of local radio DZEQ Radyo ng Bayan last Friday.

Domogan said that Cordillera, aside from Mindanao, is the only region in the country that can have an autonomous status under Article 10 Section 15 of the Philippine Constitution. But we failed to take advantage of it, he said.

The main reason, according to Domogan, is the lack people's understanding on the issue of autonomy as he batted for more information and education among people in the Cordillera.

Domogan explained that there is really need to inform and educate the Cordillerans on the five basic principles of autonomy that we clamored during the second autonomy attempt that failed.

These principles are 1) to ensure sustenance of our regional identity that covers our cultural heritage, customs and traditions, 2) that the abilities and powers we are exercising under existing laws, like the Local Government Code, will not be removed nor diminished, 3) All National Government Line-agencies will continue to be funded nationally, the only thing that will differ is that the supervision, teamwork and coordination will now be under the autonomous region, 4) to speed-up our socio-economic development, we will ask the national government for a subsidy package, and 5) The national government will continue to provide for the budgetary needs of the Cordillera Autonomous Region, even after the subsidy package, for it to ensure its sustainability.

He also explained that autonomy is more or less synonymous to federalism, the only difference is that, a Federal state is more independent than an autonomous state.

Domogan took time out to celebrate with the only government station in Baguio City and lauded its anniversary theme: Focusing on Positive Approaches to Global Crisis.

As part of its celebration, DZEQ and its many partners held a free medical and dental mission. The NFA also sent a rolling store that sold cheaper NFA rice. (PIA) [top]

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