Following Malacañang’s announcement that it welcomes public feedback on the draft Federal Constitution, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is opening its Pederalismo online platforms for inputs, comments, and inquiries on Federalism.
“The DILG is pleased to hear that the President is making the process of amending the constitution an inclusive and democratic process,” says DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya.
"In this light, the public may send their comments, reactions, suggestions and questions about Federalism to the email: email@example.com or message the DILG Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform team on Facebook @pederalismo," he says.
During a Thursday press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the government is now ready to accept feedback on the Consultative Committee’s draft federal constitution.
Roque said that while President Rodrigo Duterte is satisfied with the product of Concom’s draft Bayanihan Federal Constitution, he is open to improving the model by considering the public’s feedback.
Malacañang also reiterated its commitment to push for a federal shift in the Philippines.
This comes at a time when the naysayers have been criticizing the government for its lack of public consultations in the process of writing the draft federal charter.
“This is the Filipino people’s constitution, so the public has the right to give its take on the draft Concom recommendation,” says Malaya.
The draft federal constitution took the Concom five months to write and is now pending review by the Office of the President, DILG and DOJ.
Early this week, the Senate has also expressed its willingness to discuss Federalism with the President if he opens a dialogue with them.
Meanwhile the DILG is currently conducting its information drive on Federalism, organizing roadshows in the regions to increase public awareness. “In the process of changing the constitution, both government and citizens must work together to make a charter that would lead to the progress of the nation."
Malaya says the Department will continue to work closely with the members of the Concom after the committee wrapped up its work and disbanded last week.
“The Concom has done its job in drafting the proposed model for constitutional reform, but the work for public awareness isn’t over. The DILG will thus continue to work hand-in-hand with the former Concom members in making people understand Federalism,” he says.
He adds that the DILG will be tapping former Concom members as resource speakers in various federalism information activities namely: retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno, former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., Atty. Antonio Arellano, Professor Edmund Tayao, Dean Julio Teehankee, Professor Eddie Allih, among others.
Since June, the Department has been collaborating with Concom members and bringing experts to the regions to explain Federalism to the people at the grassroots level.
The DILG has so far brought its Federalism roadshow to Dumaguete, Cebu, Baguio, Legazpi, Davao, and Tacloban.