The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is bringing in all federalism advocates in the region to set a single direction and avoid the “mortal sins” in the advocacy they are pushing.
According to Dr. Adrian Tamayo, MinDA public relations head, they created in December last year the Davao Region Federal Group composed of Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago, Hugpong Pederal, Lihok Pederal Davao, Lihok Pederal Davao del Sur, and individuals representing the Moros, the business sector, and the Lumads.
According to MinDA, although the “very essence of federalism is autonomy, and respect for differences” they created a standard to avoid conflicts on what federalism group advocates.
“What we have in MinDA is to make sure that this year’s priority project, number one, is federalism. The second one, is bringing together all federal advocates,” Tamayo said.
Tamayo echoed the direction set by MinDA Secretary Datu Abul Khayr Alonto “to provide a platform where all these groups could discuss, and set direction for an accelerated advocacy.”
According to Tamayo, the groups aim to discuss the items they could agree on and “the mortal sins you could commit in advocating federalism.”
Tamayo said that the groups must not forget to mention the despise for political dynasty, no term limits, political party reform, and electoral reform.
Meanwhile, on core items they agree on, these includes power sharing, where there should be power distribution between levels of government and exclusive competent powers must be assigned both to the national government and state government.
Another is the resource sharing of the national income revenue such as the excise tax, value added tax, customs, and duties.
“We agree on that the taxing capabilities assigned to the state government would mean an 80% sharing to be maintained and a 20% sharing as a contribution to the federal government,” Tamayo explained.
Third is the revenue sharing, a contribution between the federal government and state government in the items in the block fund and equalization fund.
“The block fund is a tool to ensure federalism,” Tamayo said.
Last is the use of the corporate tax that should be maintained by the state government.
“Tax payments should be done in places where economic activities are done. The corporate tax, therefore, must be changed from an ordinary payment in the national headquarters to the payment of tax to any areas where economic activities,” Tamayo said.