Concerned Dabawenyos to go on cross-country campaign for Federalism

Concerned Dabawenyos to go on cross-country campaign for Federalism

Concerned local leaders in their own right are gearing up to travel across the country to promote a federal system of government.

Federalism was one of the key advocacies of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte. Prior to the presidential campaign, he had gone on a grueling “listening tour” to educate the public on federalism.

The battlecry for a change in the system resonated with most of his audiences then. But there were cynical sentiments especially from Duterte’s political opponents.

In an apparent attempt to follow through on the president-elect’s advocacy, a forum, “Pursuing Federalism, A shift from Unitary-Presidential to Federal-Parliamentary Government,” was held in Davao City last Friday.

“The oligarchy does not like to change the status quo because they have been improving their lives so their growth is exclusive to them,” said Lito Lorenzana, president of an outfit called the Centrist Democracy Political Institute, to Mirror during the forum.

Lorenzana said they will go all over the country and hold the same forum from the rich enclaves of the metropolis to the grassroots level for them to understand more what Federalism-Parliamentary system is all about.

He said he and his colleagues will try to build consensus to help the incoming President with his initiatives and legislative agenda.

“The purpose of this is to show support to the initiatives of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, who is asking for a federal system of government. And we want to help him by convincing the people,” he said.

Lorenzana said business community will benefit a federal system. He said the business sector here is supportive as they see now that the president-elect is sincere in trying to bring the decision-making process down to the grassroots level.

“Business now doesn’t have to go to Manila to get the permit and all. The local businessmen will be open now with their resources. We have to support the President and we have only one President who openly declared that he wants to restructure government which is very important. This is our opportunity especially for Davao,” he said.

For his part, Christopher Ryan Maboloc, chair of the Philosophy Division in Ateneo de Davao University, the political exclusion of the South has had a “tremendous social and economic cost.”

The Philippines may have achieved sustained Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth under President Aquino in the last six years, he said. Yet this wealth has not trickled down to the poorest households. He said the lack of opportunities in the South has resulted to more poverty and the absence of lasting peace.

“If we are to grow one nation and end the great divide between North and South, then we have to look for a political solution somewhere,” Maboloc said.

Noted educator and historian Jose Abueva said during the same gathering that a federal-parliamentary system of government will result to “greater human and institutional capability for good governance.” Maya M. Padillo



Read 2525 times Last modified on Wednesday, 29 June 2016 12:11
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