The shift to federal form of government espoused by President Rodrigo Duterte has been lobbied before large-audience fora and has gradually gained acceptance.
Board Member Romulo Cepedoza, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay (Bohol Chapter) said the idea earned positive response from the attendees. The confab opened last Wednesday with DILG Sec. Sueno as keynote speaker.
Cepedoza lauded the good attendance of the baragay leaders as 1,084 showed up out of the 1,109 barangay captains
Lawyer Raul Lambino, lead convenor of PDU30-CoRe (Constitutional Reformers), first talked about the federalism form of government on August 16 last year during a forum intended for such purpose alone.
Lambino talked about the topic when he addressed barangay captains during last week’s Liga gathering.
The forum on the topic last year was attended by mayors and vice mayors in the province, representatives from non-government organizations, civil society organizations, academe, religious organizations, and government offices.
Lambino declared during such forum that “the seed of federalism had been planted in Bohol” (figuratively).
Lambino’s talk during the Liga Congress last week was actually a sequel in the information campaign for the shift from Unitary form to Federal form of government in the Philippines.
PDU30-CoRe projected that the new form of government will take shape either in the last three years or the last year of the Duterte administration.
Lambino admitted though that the process won’t be as easy as creating a province or municipality or town.
Shifting to federalism involves “creating new states within a state in federalism,” Lambino said.
The Duterte administration may just be able to have it gradually taking form, and it would actually be established after the present administration.
Lambino explained they could only limit themselves to what are doable at this time.
This is why they call their cause “sowing the seed of federalism”.
Significant change might take 10 to 20 years to process, especially that the system of democracy is a controlling factor where a concept in governance has to be decided and be acceptable by the majority.
Lambino explained that in a federal form of government, there is greater autonomy of the local government units.
Establishing states within a state will reduce the dictating tendency of a president, thus producing the advantage of having people benefiting from the service of an honest and competent leader but less affected by any harm that a bad leader can do.
The places to be regrouped based on contiguity and common customs, for example, will be capacitated to design their economic agenda as a state that maybe distinct from another area though in consonance with the encompassing principles adapted by the federal government.
This will address the so-called Imperial Manila setting.
It will facilitate faster decision-making, more political stability, more power over funds and resources, promotion of specialization, and most of all, it naturally decongest Manila.
It will bring government closer to the people, and encourage competition just as Duterte had promised during the campaign, according to Lambino.
This impressed the barangay captains who attended the three-day Provincial Liga ng mga Barangay Congress last week.