Author Topic: The current push for Federalism  (Read 544 times)


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The current push for Federalism
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:36:11 PM »


Pimentel says Duterte term may be extended ‘if really necessary’
Published January 3, 2018 12:42pm

President Rodrigo Duterte’s six-year term may be extended “if really necessary” during the “transitory period” under the shift to federalism, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Wednesday.

Pimentel is the president of the ruling party PDP-Laban where Duterte is the party chairman.

Pimentel said a term extension will “depend on the transitory provisions.”

“Depends too on when we approve the new Constitution. If 2019, then the next three years will be the transitory period,” Pimentel explained in a text message to reporters.

“We can extend the President's term 1. if really necessary, and 2. if he is amenable to it, and 3. since that extension will be part of the new Constitution, the new Constitution is approved by the people themselves,” he said.

Duterte’s six-year term will end in 2022.

Pimentel earlier said that PDP-Laban wants to adopt a "uniquely Filipino” federalism model with two constitutionally established orders of government -- a federal government and regional governments.

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« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 01:18:32 PM by adroth »


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Re: Push for Federalism
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 07:43:38 PM »
No-el scenario in 2019 possible – Alvarez
By: Maila Ager - Reporter / @MAgerINQ / 09:54 AM January 03, 2018
Without mincing words, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has admitted that a no-election (no-el) scenario in 2019 was possible if the proposed shift to federalism succeeds this year.

Alvarez said Congress can convene this January to tackle the proposal and submit the issue to the public through a referendum in May this year, coinciding with the planned barangay elections.

While the Constitution was silent on how they should vote on any Charter amendments, the Speaker believes that Congress should vote jointly.

“Kung merong mag question, well of course justiciable issue yan. Pupunta sa Supreme Court ‘yun,” Alvarez said in an interview on Wednesday over ABS-CBN News Channel’s morning show, “Headstart.”

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Re: The current push for Federalism
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 01:53:51 PM »
House readies draft federalism charter
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - January 8, 2018 - 12:01am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is likely to transmit to the Senate a draft resolution paving the way for the shift to federalism in February, a key administration lawmaker hinted yesterday.

Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, chair of the House committee on constitutional amendments, bared that only four lawmakers will interpellate on Concurrent Resolution 09 creating a constituent assembly that will draft the federal constitution.

“We started it at the plenary last Dec. 13, I think it will end in January. So by February, it can be transmitted to the senators for their concurrence,” Mercado said in an interview over radio dzBB.

House leaders led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez are rushing the draft federal constitution so that the plebiscite on it will be incorporated in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in May.

Mercado said the super majority coalition in the House prefers the constituent assembly (con-ass) mode over the costly constitutional convention (con-con), which Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles said will cost P7 billion, and people’s initiative (PI).

The House and Senate will resume sessions on Jan. 15 after a month-long break.

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Re: The current push for Federalism
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 01:42:46 AM »
'Intelligent choice': Panelo highlights need to educate people first before 'cha-cha' plebiscite | ABS-CBN news - Jan 17 2018
Manila - A plebiscite should not be held if Filipinos are not yet capable of making an "intelligent choice" on the issue of charter change, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Wednesday.


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Re: The current push for Federalism
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2018, 09:59:26 PM »
ConCom eyes finishing draft charter by April 30
By Azer Parrocha  March 20, 2018, 9:58 pm

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Consultative Committee (Con-com) to review the 1987 Constitution expects to finish its first draft Constitution by April 30 instead of its initial target, April 20.

Con-com Senior Technical Assistant and spokesperson Ding Generoso said the schedule was moved in view of the country’s observance of the Holy Week.

“We are now targeting end of April for the initial draft that will be presented in the regional public consultations starting May 2,” Generoso said in a press conference at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on Tuesday.

The Con-com has accomplished major strides in the first 30 days since it convened last February 19.

On February 27, the Con-con voted to adopt to propose a federal-presidential form of government.

Under the federal-presidential system, the Con-com is inclined to retain a bicameral Congress--the House and Senate, with the senators to be elected regionally and not nationally.

The Con-com sub-committee on the structure of the federal government also decided to require candidates for the Congress to possess a college degree or its equivalent.

Last week, the body also voted to prohibit second-degree relatives from succeeding each other in office and limit the number of positions they can hold to only two – one national and one regional or local.

The proposed anti-dynasty provisions virtually limits political families to have only one position at the regional and local levels.

The ConCom devoted four days last week to deliberate exhaustively on all issues involving dynasties before it made its decision.

"What the Congress failed or refused to do for 31 years, the ConCom resolved and completed in four days," Generoso said.

Puno earlier described the anti-political dynasty provision as “sine qua non” or a prerequisite to the adoption of a federal-presidential system.

Next 30 days

In the next 30 days, the Con-com sub-committee on the structure of a federal government will continue deliberations on the distribution of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

When the ConCom returns returns from Holy Week break top on the agenda for en banc on April 4 and 5 will be political reforms covering  term limits, turncoatism, and the electoral system, among others.

On April 10, the Con-com will tackle economic reforms including balanced economic liberalization, land ownership, and competitiveness.

The Con-com will discuss the Bill of Rights, particularly the civil and political rights to be strengthened with the inclusion of second and third-generation rights on April 11.

On April 16 and 17, the Con-com will deliberate on constitutional bodies and the structure of a federal government will be discussed

The body will tackle the creation of constituent units as part of the "evolving system of federalism” on April 23 to 26.

From May 2 to June 19, the Con-com will be divided into teams for regional and provincial consultations.

The Con-com is expected to be in its consolidation or approval phase by June 20 to July 16.

Generoso said that the Con-com is expected to have adopted a draft Constitution to be submitted to Duterte by July 19, before he delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA). (PNA)


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Re: The current push for Federalism
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2018, 12:58:31 PM »
Feature: Federalism and its challenges and opportunities to higher education
March 27, 2018  Danilo Doguiles

 CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, March 26 (PIA)-- “There is no one model of Federalism, there is no one shape of Federalism, there is no one way of going Federal,” Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Officer-In-Charge (OIC) and Commissioner Dr. J Prospero E. De Vera said was the first lesson he wants to impart to the audience during a Symposium.

To gain thorough understanding on what Federalism is and what education would look like in a Federalist Government, the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) College of Public Affairs and Development Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies, in partnership with the UPLB Graduate School, organized a symposium titled, “Prospects of Education in a Federal Government,” held last March 12.

Federalism, in the most generic term as Commissioner expressed, comes from the word ‘foedus’ which means a covenant between two co-equal partners comprised of the Federal Government, at one hand, and the State Regional and Local Government, on the other.

He stressed, “It can co-exist only if there is a partnership of equals, it is a covenant that essentially means that both parties have to agree to work together to make the system work.”

There is no superior-subordinate relationship and there exists an agreement between two co-equals that are committed to retain their own identity but, at the same time, agree that their identity being together is equally important.

He underscored the need for Filipinos to assess if the concept of this kind of agreement is existent in our country, where there is commitment to a long term inseparable relationship that one’s interest is as important as the interest of the rest.

The question that a lot of people fear is “If you give substantial power in the Federal States in the Philippines, what will stop them from going on their own?” he figured. For instance, in a place like Mindanao there is fear that it might secede and create its own entity.

Federalism is basically a system where powers in the constitution are divided between the Federal Government and the States and Local Government, explained the Commissioner.

Since the powers are constitutionally divided and written in this form of government, constitutional change is needed to rearrange the power distribution between the Federal Government and the States and Local Governments.

Government Systems

Aside from the introduction of what Federalism is, he also enlightened his audience on the different systems of leadership to which many confuse on.

He clarified, “Federalism talks about the distribution of power from the top to the bottom.” While, it is called Unitary if more power is concentrated to the top where almost if not all the power is constituted in the national government. This is a vertical distribution of power.

On the other hand, he explicated that the horizontal distribution of power comprises the Presidential and Parliamentary.

“In the Presidential System, the powers are equally divided in the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch and the Judiciary,” he continued. Contrary, in the Parliamentary System, the Executive and Legislative powers are fused together and the Judiciary is separated. There is a horizontal distribution of power.

These systems can be mixed and matched, he said as example, “In the US, you have Federal-Presidential, but you go at the border to Canada what you have is a Federal-Parliamentary System.” Philippines’ system is Unitary-Presidential, while, there is Unitary-Parliamentary in the United Kingdom and Singapore, he added.

Commissioner de Vera pointed out that a clearing up of perspective and understanding among Filipinos is necessary because the Presidential-Parliamentary debate is getting confused with the Unitary-Federal debate.

“When you talk of Presidential versus Parliamentary you talk of separation of powers across branches of government, and Unitary versus Federal (is) across levels of government,” he reiterated.

The control that must remain to the hands of the Federal Government includes currency, national defense, foreign affairs, customs, immigration, civil political human rights and citizenship. “These are the powers that can only remain with the Federal Government all over the world,” stated Commissioner.

He said that apart from the aforementioned, all the other powers could be mixed in any way. The key elements that Filipinos must be talking about is which powers will be exclusive to the Federal Government or the Federal State and which ones shall be shared.

“We get excessively captured by the political aspects of Charter Change, (but) we are forgetting that what will matter in lives of every Filipino are the substantive aspects on where power will go and why,” he pronounced.

Higher Education in Federalism

“On the one hand, you can say it is good because education becomes more responsive to local conditions,” he said pertaining to the possible implication of Federalism to education in the country. As he stated as example, through this it can be ensured that the students in Mindanao will be able to read Philippine History with a flavor of Mindanao.

Muslims are rarely included in the Philippine history as if they have no history at all and have no contribution to the development of the country, and this is because History Books were written primarily by the Tagalogs who are in power, he said. “Those who are in power tend to write history to glorify themselves,” said the Commissioner.

He pointed out that if history shall be tailored based on a locality’s own accounts, the students therein will have their own identity, thereby, shall essentially take pride of being Filipinos.

This is one of the advantages of going Federal, “You’re sure that history will be more responsive to the conditions on the ground.”

The downside, however, is if we give history exclusively to the locals we might develop ethnicity more than national character.

“We might be more Ilocanos than Filipinos, we might be more Muslims than Filipinos,” he says.

Mentioning what is happening in the US and Canada as an example on how possibly a Federal Government appear in terms of education, he explained, “They (the States) set educational standards, mandate standardized tests, supervise state colleges and universities’ funding coming from local state and federal government, and education follows the contours of State socio-economic and political conditions.”

If the Higher Education is given fully to the States and Local Governments, the bad side is there will be no National Standards and there will be disparities across jurisdictions, and the Federal Government will not be in a position to adjust and address these disparities, noted Commissioner.

“Second, ethnicity may be emphasized at the expense of national identity, and access and equity may suffer in poorer regions,” he said, citing further that there might be a conflict if a licensure exam is not prescribed in the National level and it shall pose a bigger problem because there is already an existing competition in the ASEAN field.

Wherever the power goes that is where the money should go. “The resources must follow the power because if there is no money then the Federal or the State Government will not be able to implement its constitutional tasks,” de Vera said.

He said this is an important concept to scrutinize because the development pattern in the Philippines is uneven across regions. We will need in the Philippines significant subsidies and transfers from the Federal Government to the poorer States and transfers across richer States going to the poorer States.

This discourse must be raised and talked about according to de Vera because, economically, right now only about three States in the Philippines can survive on its own.

“If the Federal Government gives the power with no additional resources the Federal State of Easter Visayas will fall behind, the Federal State of the ARMM will fall behind, especially in education because it requires huge resources throughout the educational system,” he said.

It had become more problematic now because free tuition and miscellaneous will now be given to higher education in which money would come from the Federal Government. The question that must be pondered upon and analyzed as he pointed out is, “If you give higher education to the State Governments, what happens to the subsidy of the Federal Government for free tuition?”

As he framed, if higher education is given to the Federal State then the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) should perform the critical role of producing the manpower needed in the Federal State and their programs should contribute to its economic development.

“My general idea for higher ed is this: governance of SUCs you give that to State and Local Governments, the day to day operation but national standards, licensure exams must remain with the Federal Government,” he stated, referring to it as a happy mix that the Philippines could have. (GG/Joy Gabrido, PIA4A)


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Re: The current push for Federalism
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 01:07:28 PM »
ConCom brands output as ‘bayanihan’ federalism
Published April 19, 2018, 12:20 PM
By the Philippine News Agency

As part of its efforts to make its proposed presidential-federal form of government “uniquely Filipino,” the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to review the 1987 Constitution has dubbed its version of the system as “bayanihan” or working together federalism.

“What we are trying to evolve is a federal system that is uniquely Philippine in character. We are not copying a federal system in any part of the world,” ConCom Senior Technical Assistant and spokesperson Ding Generoso said in a press conference at the PICC on Wednesday.

It may be recalled that retired Chief Justice and ConCom Chairman Reynato Puno earlier urged the members of the body to make sure that they do not “plagiarize” any federalism model as it should be distinctly Filipino.

“There are different models of this structure available off the shelf but there is no model that will perfectly fit the Philippines,” Puno said during the first Concom en banc session last February.

Generoso explained that the bayanihan federalism will be inspired by a framework called Readiness Index for Sustained Economies Under PHederalism (Rise-Up).

“The primary objective why we are federalizing is not political, it is actually economic. Of course, it is going to be a political decision and it is also meant to enhance the political system of the country,” Generoso said.

“But the foundation of federalism is economic because what we are trying to address is the economic imbalance in the country,” he added.

Generoso pointed out that during the first few sessions of the ConCom, the concept of developing a “holding together” federalism at the national level was envisioned.

“Why holding together? Because unlike in the case of many countries like the US, what happened with them is several independent states coming together to form a union. In our case, we are one state but we are going to establish or create a number of constituent units to which we are going to transfer or share the powers and resources of government,” Generoso said.

However, he said that in doing so, the Concom wanted to make sure that the federal government will be strong enough to hold the country together so that no one gets left behind because critics fear that federalism might break the country apart.

Generoso, on the other hand, said that at the regional level, it will be a “working together” federalism.

“What we want is for everyone, every political unity of the nation and every citizen to work together. What we’re actually federating are the different units at the ground–the provinces, the cities. We are federating them into stronger units that we may call federated region so that we can achieve economies of scale and we can also achieve administrative efficiency,” Generoso said.

Big brother

According to Generoso, bayanihan federalism simply meant that “no province, no city will stand alone or be left behind” as it promotes the spirit of cooperative competition or “coopetition.”

“We are developing the big brother concept. The bigger and more developed provinces, if you federate them with smaller and less developed provinces, (they) will have to help smaller underdeveloped provinces so that the entire region that they constitute will be able to grow and becomes stronger in the entire Republic of the Philippines,” Generoso said.

Generoso explained that 62 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) or the production of the economy is concentrated in three regions, namely Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon; while 14 other regions have to fight it out for the remaining 38 percent of economic activity.

“The farther you are away from the center of political and economic power, which is Metro Manila, the smaller is the share in the GDP, the higher is the poverty incidence. That’s what we are trying to cure,” Generoso said.

The bayanihan concept, Generoso said, should also “inspire” politicians in each region to “help each other.”

“In terms of the administrative structure, we’re studying a system wherein bigger provinces will not have an undue advantage as far as representation is concerned,” Generoso said.

“We need to find a formula so that the advantage of size can be more or less addressed in the structure of the region,” he added.

Under bayanihan federalism, Generoso emphasized that politicians including governors, and majors, will also be encouraged to have a change in objective in terms of governance.

“You are now one region. If you are the chief executive of that region, what will be your objective in governance? You have to make sure your region grows at par with the other regions,” Generoso said.

“You came from a big province, are you going to just take care of your province? What you represent now is your region. And your governance goal is how to make your region grow at par with other regions,” he added.

He explained that this is where the concept of coopetition comes in: The provinces may probably still compete among themselves but then they will have to think bigger.

“Now, we think, each province thinks of its own but if you federate them into one region, they will not be thinking of what’s good for my province or city, they will also be thinking what’s good for our region,” Generoso said.

“If you don’t help each other in your region, you’ll be left behind by other regions. The other regions will grow faster than you. So you will have to work together,” he added.


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Re: The current push for Federalism
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 01:21:28 PM »
Con-Com asserts claims on WPS, Sabah
posted April 20, 2018 at 01:15 am by  Manila Standard and PNA

THE first article in the Constitution that the Consultative Committee or Con-Com will propose firms up the Philippines’ stance on the West Philippine Sea and its claim to Sabah, the online news site Rappler said Thursday.

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The proposed Article 1 reads:

Sovereignty Over Territory and Sovereign Rights

Section 1: The Philippines has sovereignty over its territory, consisting of the islands and waters encompassed by its archipelagic baselines, its territorial sea and its airspace.

It has sovereignty over islands and features outside its archipelagic baselines pursuant to the laws of the Federal Republic, the law of nations, and the judgments of competent international courts or tribunals. It likewise has sovereignty over all the other territories belonging to the Philippines by historic right or legal title.

Section 2. The Philippines has sovereign rights over that maritime expanse beyond its territorial sea to the extent reserved to it by international law, as well as over its extended continental shelf including the Philippine (Benham) Rise. Its citizens shall enjoy the right to all resources to which they are entitled by historic rights.

In comparison, Article I of the 1987 Constitution reads:

National Territory

The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.

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