DAGUPAN CITY, Nov. 5 (PIA) -- Sectoral groups, including local government units, youth, and persons with disabilities (PWDs), attended a federalism convention held in this city recently and forged a manifesto to signify their commitment to support a federal system of government.
"We offer our strong commitment to vote YES to adopt Federalism as the new Philippine political system. This is our solemn promise, to support the Duterte administration's agenda of change and to advocate for others to do the same," the manifesto read.
The manifesto looks at Federalism as the way to finally see all regions prosper and grow; to give people more voice and true democracy in deciding their future; and to help regions become the prosperous and developed regions it aspire to be by fully harnessing and achieving their potentials.
Among those who signed the manifesto of support were Pangasinan Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim Jr., Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairperson Clinton Cayabyab of Barangay Pogonsili in Aguilar town, and Hazel Evelyn Delos Santos, president of the Kapisanan ng may Kapansanan sa Lungsod ng Dagupan.
"Ito ay call of the times. Kung mayroong pagbabago, ito ang nasa harapan na nating lahat. Sana ay magawa natin ito together. Ang Pangasinan ay 100 percent na sumusuporta sa Pederalismo," Vice Governor Calimlim said.
Mayor Fernandez shared the same vision with the President and is humbled to be part of "this beautiful conversation of change."
"Like everyone else, Dagupan is in full support in writing this next chapter of our history as nation. Because when we advocate for a responsible and responsive new government, we must all be part of this conversation, and we do this by positive engagement and active participation," said Fernandez.
FEDERALISM ROADSHOW. Dagupan City Mayor Belen Fernandez welcomes some 3,000 delegates composed of various stakeholders, local government units, sectoral groups, and other supporters of Federalism and constitutional reforms from the different provinces of Ilocos Region during the federalism convention held at the CSI Stadia in Dagupan City on October 11, 2018.
Fernandez also said that the city will benefit from the federal system, as the decentralization of powers will empower local government units to implement laws and ordinances that are specifically designed for a city, municipality or region.
"This will help us better determine the needs of our people and how to address them," added Fernandez.
SK chairperson Cayabyab believes in the change as promised by President Duterte and Federalism as a new structure of government will bring services closer to Filipinos.
"Kung maisusulong ang Federalism, yong reach out ng ordinaryong tao ay mas mapapalapit sa kanila mismo," he said.
Delos Santos, a representative from the PWD sector, said the change in the form of government will provide meaningful representation for the marginalized people.
"May magandang maidudulot ang Pederalismo dahil mabibigyang boses at puwang sa gobyerno ang mga kabilang sa maliliit na sektor ng lipunan kaya suportahan natin ito para sa kapakanan ng sambayang Pilipino," she said.
The convention is part of the two-day Federalism Roadshow conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, in partnership with the city government of Dagupan and the Philippine Information Agency in the Ilocos, in an effort to raise public awareness about the administration's proposal for a shift from unitary to a federal system of government.
Other activities during the roadshow included media forum, interviews, and a Pederalismoserye Town Hall Meeting with basic sectors.
At least 3,000 delegates from different local governments, organizations, sectoral groups and other stakeholders from all over the Ilocos Region attended the two-day event on October 10-11 to gain a better understanding and clarify misconceptions about the proposed federal system of government. (JNPD/AMB/PIA Pangasinan)