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LMP Cot initiates action to enlighten constituents on federalism

Amas, Kidapawan City – The League of Municipalities of the Philippines – Cotabato Chapter has initiated a summit on federalism to address common questions and concerns from local officials and ordinary citizens on Wednesday, November 23at the Provincial Gymnasium, Amas, Kidapawan City.

The LMP-Cotabato, headed by Carmen Mayor Rogelio T. Taliño, has partnered with the Provincial Government of Cotabato and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in spearheading the event.

With nearly 600participants to include local elected officials, Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and religious sectors, exceptional federalism advocates from Lihok Federal Davao gave inputs on federalism.

Status quo

University of Mindanao (UM) Professor Dr. Adrian Tamayo, PhD., explained the different indicators why the country remains to be one of the poorest countries among other ASEAN countries relating it to the present political situation.

Development measurements include Gross Domestic Product, Gross Fixed Capital Formation, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) payment, technology,education, employment, health and health facilities, food and hunger state among others.

Dr. Tamayo also detailed on poverty inheritance that 3 out of 10 Filipinos were considered poor over the last three (3) decades since they were not given economic opportunity.

However, with regards to education expenditure, the country fared much better in its spending as a share of the national income.

“Our curriculum is colonial in perspective. There is too much civic orientation to love democracy and that democracy is without accountability.” Dr. Tamayo said.

Current state of human capital is not compatible with the growing sectors. Data reveals that for every 100 pupils admitted to class only 2 of them could earn a degree.

If only 2 are professionals, yet employment opportunity is bigger in services, vulnerable employment sector occurs.

What is federalism?

Currently, the country is under a unitary form of government in which power and resources are under the control of the central government.However, in federalism powers and resources of the government are shared by the federal government and the Regional government.

Countries that apply federal form of government include Unite States of America, Austria, Germany, Canada and Australia among others.

DILG Region XII Legal Officer Atty. Michelle Anne Viejo cited that corruption mostly occur among countries that employ unitary form of government while least mostly to federal.

How will it help the country?

Under federalism it will empower regions to exercise right to self-determination, allowing them to address their problems based on their own geographic, cultural, social and economic conditions.

Furthermore, it will promote economic opportunities in the regions and provide incentives for Filipinos to live and work in regions outside Metro Manila. Which means more investors may also decide to put up their businesses outside Manila thus creating more jobs and opportunities to attract more people away from the gridlocked metropolis.

At present, 80% revenue collection is funneled to the National Government while only 20% is distributed to Local Government Units. In federalism however, the distribution shall be revised.

Timetable

Meanwhile,from June, 2019 to 2020, sub-national government units (regions),  in accordance with the ratified Federal Constitution, will make their respective Regional organic laws, submit for approval to Parliament and shall be ratified by the people thru a plebiscite.

By 2020 to 2021, the process of effective, actual transition from unitary to a federal government should take place.

On May 2022, we will probably elect the President of the new Federal Republic of the Philippines, together with the Members of Parliament;

Federal President may be installed on June 30, 2022, and immediately thereafter, the first Prime Minister and Members of the Cabinet will be confirmed by the Parliament.

All in all, the advocacy claims that federalism is an answer to the present and diverse problems of the society. That by according to them it is a peace formula in attaining peace and development in the country. (MJ G. Kinkito, PGO-Media Center, Photos by Laurifel Q. Gonzales, PGO- Media Center)

 

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