The last leg of the series of round table discussions on “Federalism: Facts, Myths, Opportunities and Challenges” heard federal proposals from the Movement for Federal Philippines, the Local Government Development Foundation, and the Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago in an RTD held on 12 October 2016 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Board of Regents Room, Quezon Hall, UP Diliman. Each of the invited resource persons to present their federal proposals was allotted 20 minute to speak.
To set the context of this discussion, Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer of the UP Political Science Department presented a talk on the current bills and resolutions filed in this 17th Congress with regard to the move to amend or revise the Constitution also known as Cha-Cha via such modes as ConCon, ConAss, ConCom, and ConAm. She unbundled all these legislative measures in a neatly done content analysis thereby showing the various streams of thought that politicians have in mind if there will be an amendment or revision of the Constitution.
Dean Joe-Santos Bisquerra of the Movement for Federal Philippines started off with basic concepts, then political concepts of federalism, and a comparison of various federal specimens. He anchored his thesis on the poverty problem and advanced the view of a corporatist framework for local governments as the best mode. In effect, he vied for competitive type of federalism for the Philippines. Also, invoking such fave legal principle, ‘salus populi est suprema lex’, Bisquerra opted for grassroots leadership in a proposed shift to federalism.
On the other hand, Atty. Aris Albay, Chairman of the Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago batted for a cooperative type of federalism wherein national government and regional states intermingle in policies and sharing of powers to include concurrent powers. Also he batted for dual federalism where such powers between levels of government (i.e. central-local) are specifically delineated. However, under his proposal, there shall only be a central Federal Government with five regional state governments based on economic viability.
For his part, Prof. Edmund Tayao of Local Government Development Foundation gave a general update on studies they are into on federalism but largely adoptive of the Nene Pimentel earlier proposal on federalism. He mentioned that his group already plans to start similar round table discussions to hear from various sectors, stakeholders, experts, and advocates.
UPCIDS researchers Mr. Michael Eric Castillo and Mr. Primer Pagunuran served as moderators to this round table discussion.