As a Filipino I have my own opinion with regards to a shift in the form of government as proposed by the incoming Duterte Administration.
Federalism – definitions:
As I watched an interview by Ms. Luchi Cruz Valdez to the Founding Chairman of the PDP Laban(if I get it right) former senator Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel in Reaksyon on TV5 5/29/2016 – it gave me additional information about it.
I would definitely choose to agree with having the Federal form of Government. It is the type that delegates the responsibility of every state to its own Governor. I thought before that implementing it would mean that every province or region would be independently governing itself. But, the constitution CAN define the division (consisting of several provinces to be considered as one state) like the example of Pimentel, he would suggest eleven federal territories to consist the country - with the Bangsamoro Region, Bicol Region (I will update this list as soon as I got the copy of the interview , not able to jot it down).
This would somehow abolish the need for a separate Bangsamoro Basic Law Policy. It gives freedom to each federal territory the capability of running its own affairs without the long process of centralized governance. The National government can concentrate on other matters like the empowerment of government forces (police, AFP, Marine and Air Force) foreign relations and policies as well as the national matters as a whole.
Given the authority of self-governance – infrastructures and other local government matters can be easily addressed. The constituents especially the elected officials within the territories have the ability to figure out what they need. Decision-making is vital in the implementation of helpful undertakings LGUs can provide their state.
Compared to the existing government where the budget provided for LGUs from their own income is just about twenty percent (20%)of it, eighty (80%)goes to the National Coffers – whereas in Federal form, it would be the reverse, the larger share goes to the local government unit (LGU) for their budget. That is for the funding of local infrastructures and other projects to alleviate the living condition of their constituents not just by giving direct aids but providing lifetime earning-opportunities to their constituents. It will also give rise to strive for the establishment of more business opportunities, empowerment of micro, small, medium enterprises for ordinary people – more business means more taxes, more income for the LGU. The LGUs can opt to encourage/boost cooperatives, extend loans to farmers, small-scale miners etc. – those are just examples I can visualize but it would really be on the discretion of the elected frontrunner officials.
Federalism does not mean that the LGUs are not under the National Constitution – the Country’s Law and Policies apply to them too according to Pimentel. But they can implement policies unique to their particular LGU like in curfew policy, fines on plastic, stray dog policy, etc.
The fear of the public lies in the bigger possibilities of corruption. Whatever form of government there is, but it does not hurt to try. And we could easily see a corrupt LGU if the residents will not feel any difference from before, lacking improvement in reaching-out for the masses – improvement on health benefits and hospital buildings or health centers, provision of more job opportunities, improved information and communication premises a well as educational programs/aides for the citizens. The bigger funds LGU can have, the bigger chance of providing better public service. And seeing the SERIOURS conviction of the elected President Duterte on fighting corruption – I do not think the National Government will not have time to check on the situation of each state having lesser load to work-on – just supervision.
I do believe that the essence of having elected officials for each municipality, province or congressional district means that WE ARE WELL-AWARE that someone who is close can definitely visualize the needed change, assistance and funding for each locality WHAT MORE giving them MORE OPPORTUNITY and FUND to exercise their power to bring that needed transformation?! I would be leaving that point to ponder o…what do you think fellow Filipinos?
Update on the Interview I have quoted shall be posted as soon as it becomes available from Youtube.
Feel free to give your comments, suggestions or even CORRECTION (for readers who are authority in this field of topic) on this article to give us, your fellow-countrymen (especially the youth-the students) helpful and reliable information about Federal form of Government. It would really be deeply appreciated.