The country is well equipped and will benefit from a shift to federalism, according to members of the Consultative Committee (Concom) during the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG’s) roadshow for federalism.
“Will the shift to a federal form of government be achievable? The answer is Yes!,” said Concom member Professor Eddie Alih during a media forum in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The transition to federalism, however, will not happen overnight, according to Atty. Susan Ubalde-Ordinario of Concom during a separate media forum in Cauayan, Isabela.
“It will not happen overnight but at least we hope that it will happen within the term of the President (Duterte),” said Ordinario.
Meanwhile, Concom member Fr. Ranhilio Aquino said that federalism is the best way to reach the change the Filipino people need.
“Two things we aspire to achieve: Regions to enjoy sufficient powers by themselves. Keep the integrity of the republic. How do you do that? Through a federal republic,” said Aquino.
Anti-political dynasty provision
According to Alih, majority of the country’s wealth has been concentrated to only 50 families and has not trickled down to those who truly need help.
He says the unitary form of government is an inefficient system that allows political families to run free and continue to exercise corrupt practices in the country.
Alih adds that the current system is the main cause of corruption problems such as the P157-billion Disbursement Acceleration Program, the worst case of malversation in the Philippines.
The solution, according to him, is the anti-political dynasty provision in the proposal Concom drafted this year.
He says that federalism will take the power of the powerful and spread it among the weak to solve inequality in the Philippines.
“Yung mga ayaw sa pederalismo, sila kasi yung matatamaan (ng anti-political dynasty),” says Professor Edmund Tayao.
Concom has included in their proposed federal constitution a “self-executory” anti-political dynasty provision which limits the spread of power of political families in the country.
As the information drive of the government picks up speed, the DILG is simultaneously conducting two roadshows this week in both Cauayan, Isabela and San Fernando, Pampanga.
The DILG currently heads the government’s interagency campaign for federalism and has been to nine regions to explain federalism to the masses.