Responding to President Duterte's directive for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to intensify the federalism awareness campaign, the DILG recently created a dedicated office that shall oversee and spearhead the nationwide public information and education drive on federalism.
The project management office, which is called the Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform (CFCR), is headed by DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya.
DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo Ano says the newly-created CFCR will play a key role in ensuring public support to the President’s agenda of change for a change in the form of government.
“The cornerstone of the President’s change agenda is the shift from a unitary to a federal system of government. And the DILG through the CFCR is privileged to take center stage and lead the nationwide campaign to inform and educate the public about the merits of federalism,” Ano says.
In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2016, the President directed the DILG to be the lead government agency in studying, advocating, and campaigning for the change in the form of government. In December 2017, the President reiterated his directive to the DILG to intensify its public education campaign across the nation.
Malaya says that through the CFCR-PMO, the DILG shall consolidate and enhance the efficacy of Federalism-related information campaign of all DILG operating units, including the regional and field offices, the local government units (LGUs) and stakeholders.
“With the establishment of this Center, we will be able to intensify the federalism campaign as well as be able to work more closely with other national government agencies as well as local government leagues," said Malaya.
"The CFCR will also serve as clearing house of all federalism advocacy groups for common messaging and closer coordination," he added.
Among the specific functions of the CFCR-PMO are: building trust among stakeholders and achieving a decisive level of public trust on common messages roadmap towards Federalism; shape public opinion through better social mainstream media relationships and coverage; and make stakeholders the primary thought leaders on federalism.
The Center shall also capacitate the DILG and its partners as focal content providers of Federalism knowledge products across various media platforms and targeted at decision makes and the general public, and empower the Department as the focal organization for field level machinery for the awareness, acceptance, conversion and action of qualified voters to support a new constitution and a federal system of government.
The CFCR-PMO shall also adopt a multi-sectoral and mass based approach anchored on research, advocacy and training trickling down to the regional counterparts for a more encompassing information dissemination.
It shall be operated by some 50 people (more than half of which are Regional Officers/Provincial Coordinators) which would compose the operations group, support to operations group, and administrative and finance group.