Around the Boondocks

Here’s a round-up of what’s happening in our part of the world:

Baguio officials ask nearby provinces (like Pangasinan) to help fund Baguio General Hospital. Why? Apparently, around 16-17% of BGH’s patients come from Pangasinan. Maybe this is a good argument for the re-nationalization of health service? More here.

Mayoyao, Ifugao adopts JICA Resident Representative as son of the municipality. Mr. Norio Matsuda “was instrumental in setting up of schools in Balangbang and Mayoyao Central School wherein the Japanese language and songs were taught and learned by the children.” Read more.

Philex Mining boasts about its increased profit (up 63%). No word on whether it increased its tax payments and whether these went to the province of Benguet where Philex gets its gold and copper.

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Thoughts From Dhaka: Concretizing Autonomy

By Gina Dizon

DAKKA, Bangladesh — The results of the survey on Cordillera autonomy just says one thing: What is autonomy? It is strange that 40 percent of Cordillera respondents don’t know what autonomy is.

With 60% of respondents categorically answering Yes (27.9%) or No (34.6%) to the question of the readiness of the Cordillera to become autonomous, it implies they are informed or assertive on their categorical responses. Whatever arguments they have, they can neutralize or persuade others to their sides – those who do not know or are still undecided whether or not to go for autonomy.

Obviously, saying Yes is a move which could be termed as daring or risky. If not now, then when? is the question for the Yes mover. A sound and feasible rationale based on concrete potentials needs to be presented to the public — what regional autonomy means other than a Yes vote. It is a question on how firm is this position with regards to financial and administrative capacity of the Cordillera to go into autonomy. It basically asks how politically relevant is the move to push for regional autonomy.

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