Lobregat hints debate on Federalism in Congress PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 11:50

By DEXTER YAP

Waiting for any decision from both houses in Congress on how to start the federalism move being pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte, the House of Representatives and the Senate both indicated their concerted efforts in dealing with this proposal.

District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat said that in the event the Senate and the Lower House will decide on this issue through constitutional assembly, then they can convene and discuss on how to vote, if separately by the two chambers or vote together as one.

Lobregat said that within the week, both leaders of the Senate and the House will meet and agree on the manner of voting by the 24 senators and some 300 House representatives in their respective districts and partylists representations in the country.

“We are waiting for the meeting of Senate President Koko Pimentel and House Speaker Bebot Alvarez about this issue. We wait for the clue for them to give us the direction on the mode to take on the proposed constitutional amendments for federalism which needs the ¾ votes, either separately or collectively,” Lobregat said.

The solon assured the people of Zamboanga that he will be there defending the best interest of the city.

“I will be very active in the debate, debe estudia embuenamente coneste propuesto cambio na constitusion. There are a lot of issues on this matter, descuti kita buenamente coneste propuesto federalismp como cosa yo ha hace na BBL,” Lobregat said.

He said that another 2/3rd votes of the entire members of the House should be considered also on the proposed constitutional convention it is pursued. If the said number of votes cannot be reached, they have to get the majority vote whether to have constitutional convention or not.

Congressman Lobregat said that in the procedures of the constitutional assembly, the House members and the Senate as well have to consider and settle the issue of the ¾ votes for each house or on separate votes of 2/3rd for the senate which is 18 out of 24 and in congress which needs 200 members out of 300.

Moreover, Lobregat explained that in the process of amending the constitution, there is no stopping any member of congress to propose any amendments, in any field like economic, political, justice and environmental and other various individual provisions.

“When you say federalism, you talk about officials, term limit and further political process re-alignment, and we must consider all other proposed amendments which will be lodged by each member of the house,” he said.

Lobregat  hinted that in his proposed version of the establishment of federal states in Mindanao, “ if we say by region, Region 9 will compose of Zamboanga Peninsula, Region 10 will comprise the provinces and cities of Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte.”  In Region 11 it is Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley, and Davao Oriental. Region — Socsargen area, North and South cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Saranggani provinces . In the Caraga region, it will be Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao Norte and Surigao del Sur. The ARMM should also be divided into two federal states like the ARMM Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, and the ARMM of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi areas.

Lobregat explained that federalism is the opposite of the present unitary form of government. “In unitary type, the central government like what we have now, in federalism, you will devote more focus in your respective federal state,” he said.

“In this manner, the richer areas will be further developed than the less developed areas.  If we are more developed and richer than other states then we will have to share our resources to nearby areas within the state, we have to share whether we like it or not, that is the situation.” Lobregat said.

He said that in the event both houses will decide the soonest possible on how to vote, then the House can convene the constitutional assembly.

Lobregat assured the Zamboangeños that he will study and do more extensive research on this matter and will bring all the advantages as well as disadvantages of the proposition on federalism of the present administration. – Dexter Yap