Best version of federalism? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 July 2017 11:46



LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…My people, your guides lead you astray;  they turn you from the path…” (Isaiah 3:12, the Holy Bible).


FEDERALISM: GIVING 25% OF THE ANNUAL BUDGET OF GOV’T TO REGIONS: Easily one of the best, and perhaps one of the least contentious and therefore more susceptible of acceptance, version of a federal system of government for the Philippines is that being pushed by former Senator, and now the incumbent Manila Hotel president,  Joey Lina.

In an interview with members of the Rotary Club of Intramuros who trooped to the Manila Hotel in preparation for the Club’s induction ceremonies on July 20, 2017 where young business entrepereneur Aries Balanay is going to be installed as its Great President, Lina said federalism in our country could come in the form of “decentralizing the annual budget of government”.

Lina explained: “Federalism come in many forms, but to effect the vision of President Duterte for a federal form of government as fast as possible, federalism-Philippine style could actually mean strengthening the existing regions by putting in a new Constitution their entitlement and sole disposition of 25% of the annual government budget”.


BEST VERSION OF FEDERALISM? This way, the former lawmaker, secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and Laguna governor, said that under his proposal, there would no longer be any need to establish the states which would comprise the federal government, as in the cases of the United States and Malaysia.

His proposal will also prevent the giving up, and subsequent transfer to the states, of various important powers and functions of the national government, Lina said. This is also expected to prevent destructive squabbling and maneuverings of politicians and their clans who will be understandably be propping up themselves as leaders of the states that are going to be formed.

Lina said his plan of disbursing 25% of the annual budget of government would allow existing regional, provincial, city, and municipal governments to continue functioning, but with greater resources with which to develop local economies and to improve infrastructure.


FEDERALISM HAS BEEN URGED IN RP SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL: Federalism was one of the cornerstone promises of then presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. That notwithstanding, however, proposals to adopt a federal system of government for the Philippines did not start with Duterte.

The clamor for a federal system of government in the country actually started in 1899, and persisted through the 1946 Republic, then during the martial law period under President Marcos, and until a change of leadership through the people power grab under Cory Aquino.

As of the latest count, however, various versions of federalism have already surfaced and have been presented to President Duterte. Recent plans indicate that the President is intending to create a Constitutional Commission that would be responsible for drafting a federal constitution, which would then be submitted to Congress as a constituent assembly, or through a plebiscite.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 06 July 2017 12:06