Federalism would build safer and more secure communities in areas riddled by armed conflict and the spite of disasters, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“The Zamboanga Peninsula has a strategic location, lush agriculture, and scenic seascapes. When peace, order, and safety are in place, it would only be natural for investors to fly into the region,” says DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan E. Malaya.
According to him, with the help of the federal government, the regional government would be empowered by federalism to take on the issues affecting communities such as handling localized peace negotiations with the rebel communist groups.
Terrorism, however, will be tackled by the federal government as police, military, naval, and air force will remain national in scope.
Under the Consultative Committee’s proposed model for constitutional reform, there will be shared powers for the federal government and federated government in matters concerning peace and order and disaster preparedness.
Violent attacks from the foreign-led Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), coupled with local communist and Moro insurgencies, bring down business appetite and dampen regional growth.
ZamPen is also highly vulnerable to disasters such as flooding, storm surges, flashfloods, and high sea level rise, which also dampen business appetite in the region.
According to Malaya, with more funds at hand under federalism, the region would be able to invest in resilient infrastructure and take extra precautions on disaster preparedness measures.
“Solving problems in armed conflict and disaster vulnerability would be possible under a federal form of government. With both national and regional governments working together, the region would be in the best position to recover and see growth,” he says.
ZamPen Growth Potentials
Located at the western tip of Mindanao, the Zamboanga Peninsula serves as the gateway for international trade with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines (BIMP) East Association of Southeast Asian Nations Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
ZamPen is the country’s major producer of canned fish, seaweeds, banana, coconut, and rubber.
With plans to establish world-class international seaports for transshipment among the BIMP-EAGA, trade would flourish in the region and the growth experienced by the Zamboanga Peninsula would spill over to the surrounding regions.
The DILG will be conducting its regional roadshow in Dipolog City on October 3-4, 2018 and is inviting the people of Zamboanga Peninsula to its town hall meeting and convention/rally to learn more about how federalism would benefit not only the region but their families as well.