Senate President Says It's Time for Federalism

Manila Bulletin, September 23, 2016 | Go to article overview

Senate President Says It's Time for Federalism


Federalism fever is gripping the country and so it is now time to adopt a federal form of government to replace the current unitary form of government where Manila is the one and only center of power.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, president of PDP-Laban party, stressed that the proposed shift in the power from "Imperial Manila" to federalism should be done within the term of President Duterte whose campaign line in the recent presidential campaign was federalism.

Pimentel said the Senate will focus its attention on the proposed shift to federalism by January after it has passed the proposed 2017 P3.3 trillion national budget.

The Senate chief emphasized this during a press briefing after keynoting an international forum on "Decentralization to Federalism: The next stage of Philippine Democracy" in Makati City.

"We have a federalism fever in our country. I believe that the time is right for us to seriously propose the shift to a federal system of government because the Filipino people are now open to change and are now more receptive to federalism," Pimentel said.

Some of the guests to the international conference on federalism are Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, chairman of the Senate of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; Ambassador John Holmes, former Canadian Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean); Roger Bruce Wilkins, president of the Financial Task Force of Australia; Benedikt Seeman, country representative of the Konrad Adenauer Stiflung Philippine Office; and Dr. Paul Hutchcroft, local governance specialist of the Australian embassy.

Pimentel said the plan is to start early the constitutional process of shifting to federalism by amending the 1978 Constitution and adopting the federal system of government. …

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