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Planting the seeds of federalism in Cebu Featured

That the idea of Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte to make that monumental shift from our current 71-year-old unitary form of government that only brought the Filipino nation years of misery with the majority of our people living in abject poverty, one solution is for that paradigm shift towards a parliamentary/federal form of governance...something that most well-developed nations have adopted and achieved economic prosperity.

Most European nations, especially Germany after the ashes of the 3rd Reich adopted a parliamentary/federal despite being divided into East Germany and West Germany. Take a good look at Germany now. The problem with our unitary form of government got worse when we adopted a two-party system that could not really act as a real political party, but rather as a vehicle by ambitious politicians to use as their launching pad to rise into political power. Today, the Philippines is stuck in what we call personality politics, where popularity of the person rather than his or her ability to govern is the key to good governance. He becomes the political party himself!

After the EDSA Revolt, we chose the widow of the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. to take over the reins of the government because she was “Talagang Walang Alam”... but in the end, it is the people behind the puppet that ruined the Cory Presidency. It is for this reason that when my good friend, Pres. Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) became President he was truly a man of his own and didn’t play puppet to anyone... except perhaps the US.

This is why it is imperative for the nation to get on board a new system of governance that will forever rid ourselves of personality politics so we can fast forward to a better governed Philippines and today, Pres. Duterte presents to the nation a chance for change and a shift into a federal form of government. Of course, those politicos who have “profited” from decades of our unitary form are totally against federalism, which is why we must jumpstart this move away from the National Capital Region (NCR).

We are now on the 30th year after the EDSA Revolt and let’s ask ourselves... have the Philippines as a nation really embraced genuine and honest political reforms? Sure we had the 1971 Constitutional Convention which was hijacked by the Marcos dictatorship and turned into the 1973 Philippine Constitution, but where did that bring the nation? The Marcos constitution was thrown out together with the conjugal Marcos Dictatorship. But in place, they created the 1987 Constitution, which is still in place today, which only resulted in personality politics. If you ask me, there is a better way!

A couple of days ago, a group led by Emmanuel Duterte, brother of Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte went to the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) in Cebu City to launch the People’s Initiative for Federalism. This was attended by more than a thousand students from many universities and other colleges. They may not be huge in numbers, but the reason for that is simple, we are now on a Christmas break and everyone is preoccupied with their shopping chores or trying to get a bus to return home. But more importantly, the seeds of federalism are now being planted in Cebu. Soon, it will be planted in the key cities all over the country.

If there is anything truly positive that is happening under the Duterte administration, it is what Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on finance announced a few days ago that the proposed P3.35-trillion national budget for 2017 will provide healthcare assistance to all Filipinos, and free tuition to all students who will enroll in any state university or college in the country. According to Sen. Legarda, an additional P3 billion was allocated to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to ensure coverage for all Filipinos. Wow! Is this is a dream come true? Wake me up quick!

Sen. Legarda also pointed to a report from the Department of Health saying, “There are some eight million Filipinos still not covered by PhilHealth. It is our duty, in serving the public, to extend basic healthcare protection to all our people. That is why we pushed for the augmentation of the PhilHealth’s budget so that in 2017, we achieve universal healthcare coverage.”

The beauty of this proposal is that any non-member of PhilHealth will automatically be made a member upon availment of healthcare service in a public hospital. Indigent patients will no longer have to pay anything in our government hospitals under the “No Balance Billing” as mandated by the Amended National Health Insurance Act or Republic Act. 10606. The 2017 national budget will also allocate a total of P96.336 billion for DOH, which includes funds for the construction of additional health facilities and drug rehabilitation centers. So when will this become a reality? Abangan!


Read 2186 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 December 2016 12:42
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