Experts coming to Manila to share Federalism best practices around the world

May 9, 2018

Following the announcement of a nationwide advocacy campaign for federalism, the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG’s) Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform will hold a two-day joint forum on the role of intergovernmental relations (IGR) in a federal system, discussing the different approaches of foreign counterparts in federalism and those which may apply in the Philippines.

The May 11-12, 2018 forum themed “Multi-level Systems of Government - Structural Features and Intergovernmental Relations” will be held in partnership with the Forum of Federations and the Asia Foundation.

“It is necessary to clarify the basic principles behind IGR and its role under a decentralized government. The IGR is critical to the system in order for us to establish a cohesive structure for efficient governance,” says DILG spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya.

IGR is a network of institutions interacting at the national, provincial and local levels interpedently. It enables the various branches of government to cooperate according to institutional arrangements.

Different executions of IGR and federalism will be discussed as well as the applications and implications of such in the Philippines.

Approaches to multi-level governance and the benefits of provincial power in a decentralized government will likewise be covered.

Discussions will also focus on interjurisdictional issues and the challenges faced by national and local governments in implementing the local government code (LGC) and other reforms.

International speakers will include Forum of Federations President and CEO Rupak Chattopadhyay; former Secretary of the Inter State Council Secretariat, Ministry of Home Affairs Government of India (India’s peak intergovernmental agency) Ravi Dhingra; senior advocate and a constitutional legal advisor to the President of Nepal Dr. Surya Dhungel; External Expert Panel on devolution of the Scottish Parliament member Dr Sandra Leon; Curtin University Law School Professor Bertus De Villiers; University of the Western Cape’s Dullah Omar Institute Jaap de Visser (LLB, LLM, PhD); and Forum of Federations Executive Director for Asia and Australia Phillip Gonzalez.

The DILG will also be launching a federalism roadshow next month advocating and holding massive information drives for federal governance, working closely with all stakeholders for the campaign.

“The people’s desire for change will be the driving force of this campaign. It’s time to address the different concerns of all who will be affected by the constitutional reform,” says Malaya.

A hundred local and international participants are expected to attend the event on Friday and Saturday.

Federalism, which is part of the Duterte administration’s campaign for change, is expected to empower the regions which have been long dependent on the central government for development.