TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Nov. 7 (PIA)--The federalism concept is not entirely a new thought in the country as this was already in the minds of the framers of the Philippine constitution, said Regional Project Officer for Federalism Romeo Manongas of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) here.
Manongas, who was one of the speakers during the recently conducted Federalism Speakers' Bureau Regional Training at Villa Blanca Hotel in this city, said the calls for federalism as the country's new form of government has been amplified when decentralization and devolution was implemented.
According to Manongas, the concept of a federal government for the Philippines was first suggested by Jose Rizal where the country's national hero outlined his vision of federalist governance on his essay "Las Filipinas Dentro de Cien Anos" (The Philippines a Century Hence) that was published by the Barcelona-based propaganda paper La Solidaridad in 1889.
He added that among the first proponents of federalism in the country include professor Jose Abueva from the University of the Philippines and former senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., who both argued that a federal form of government is necessary to efficiently cater to the needs of the country and a key component in alleviating the Mindanao crisis and appeasing Moro insurgents.
Manongas said that even then-Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte launched a nationwide campaign calling for a charter change for federalism in 2014, saying federalism will facilitate better delivery of services to the people.
"Even at that time, President Duterte already pushed for federalism as the current unitary form of government has not worked well given the ethnic diversity in the country," Manongas added.
Meanwhile, DILG provincial director Ruperto Maribbay said the adoption of federalism as the country's new form of government will enable the BangsaMoro to promote their own identity and culture and their own economic development at their own pace without the need of seceding or declaring their independence from the republic.
Maribbay said another advantage of the federal system is the sharing of powers which will allow the federal states to develop their own social, economic, and political potentials.
"With adequate powers, the federal states will be able to modernize themselves, thus, the country's political stability will be strengthened," the provincial director said.
Once we shifted to federalism, Maribbay said an equalization systems will be implemented since not all regions will be able to generate enough revenues to sustain their respective operations and delivery of basic services.
"These equalization systems under the new proposed constitution ensure that no region will be left behind," he said.
Maribbay added that under the federal system, no need for the Congress to enact an anti-dynasty law as this constitutional provision is self-executing. (ALM/PIA-2)