Hearings set on Cordillera autonomy

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BAGUIO CITY: Baguio Representative Nicasio Aliping disclosed on Tuesday that the House of Representatives Committee on Local Governments, through an ad hoc committee, has scheduled a series of consultations on the bill aimed at creating the Cordillera autonomous region.

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The House committee opted to create an ad hoc committee to conduct the hearings in the capital towns of the six Cordillera provinces and Baguio City with Aliping as chairman.

“In consultation with the other Cordillera lawmakers, we have come up with the schedule of public hearings for the entire month of July,” Aliping said.

The public hearings will kick off in Baguio City on July 10 to be followed in Apayao on July 15, then to Bangued, Abra on July 22. On July 23, the committee will travel to Bontoc, Mt. Province and then to Lagawe, Ifugao on July 24, followed by Tabuk City, Kalinga on July 30 and La Trinidad, Benguet on July 31.

Aliping said the members of the Committee on Local Governments are expected to attend each consultation as they take advantage of the two-month Congressional recess to hold these meetings.

Aliping voiced hope that Congress will approve the bill soon so that President Benigno Aquino 3rd can sign it into law before his term ends.

“But due to time constraints, the plebiscite to ratify the law may not be held on May next year, but we believe the plebiscite could be held as early as 2017,” Aliping said.

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