“THE PHILIPPINES is once more going Federal. This is one of the election commitments of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Now that he is pushing for Federalism, present day advocates have found another champion of our cause.
We federalist Filipinos are dauntless. Through the years our kindred souls have relentlessly pushed for Federalism, the framing of the 1898 Malolos Constitution, the Federal State of Visayas, the Republic of Mindanao and the Republic of Cebu. When the President promised a shift to a Federal System to solve many problems brought about by our current Unitary System, we tried, once again, reiterating our complaints of yore.
Go for Federalism. We must do this right or else we might create more problems than we intend to solve. The tough-nut question, however is, ‘How will we do it? Or ‘How will we shift to a Federal System?” (FOREWORD, “How to Federalize the Philippines”, 2017)
The FOREWORD above was written by Atty. Aristeo Vicente R. Albay, Chairman of the KILOS FEDERAL SA PAGBABAGO (KPP) Movement. The Manual where this FOREWORD was taken were authored by yours truly, The KPP Movement is under the auspices of TAFAPAGTANGGOL ng MAMAMAYAN DEVELOPMENT CENTER (TMDC) Inc.
In federalizing the Philippines, let’s initially create three (3) Federal Regions:
1. Luzon Federal Region which will be composed of the present Administrative Regions of CAR, Region 1, Region 2, Region 3, Region 4A, NCR, Region 5 and MIMARO.
2. Visayas Federal Region which will be composed of Administrative Regions of Region 6 Region 7 and Region 8.
3. Mindanao Federal Region which will be composed of Administrative Regions of Regions 9, BARMM, Region 10, Region 11, Region 12, Region 13, and Palawan. This is the original ancestral domain of the Bangsamoro.
Why do we create initially only three Federal Regions? This is because of the following reasons:
1. The Philippines is relatively a small country area-wise.
2. This takes into account and historical reasons.
3. Economy of scale and financial viability of the Regions are important.
4. The shift will be less disruptive.
5. Avoidance of creating political fiefdoms is achieved. We say, “No to gerrymandering”
6. Incremental approach in this shift is more prudent
7. The preservation of the existing Local Government Units (LGUs) is ensured.
One of the co-publishers in the Philippines of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace book “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church”, 2004 is the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). It is safe to say that all Filipino Catholics, whether religious, clergy or laity, should faithfully abide with this Social Doctrine in their social life. This is as clear as a whistle. Hence, when we talk of our political system, we Filipino Catholics must favor one which dutifully follows the Principles of the Common Good, Subsidiarity, Participation, and Solidarity without exception. Let us now examine and analyze our present political system which is a Unitary System of Government. Does it conform with our Church’s Social Principles? TO be more specific, let’s analyze one by one, the following social principles:
1. On the Principles of the Common Good, we say “No”
2. On the Principles of Subsidiarity, we also say “No”
3. On the Principles of Solidarity, we likewise say “No”
4. On the Principles of Participation, again we say “No”
It is crystal clear that our present Unitary System does not follow the Social Principles of the Catholic Church. No wonder, our political situation in the Philippines is a very chaotic one. Since this is the case, should we Filipino Catholics close our eyes and just keep praying that God will transform our very sick political system without our corresponding action?
Some of the benefits of a well-studies Federal System are:
1. It will beneficially transform our chaotic political system;
2. It will correct the historical injustices to the Bangsamoro and Indigenous peoples;
3. It will result in “Full Democracy;”
4. It will truly liberate our people from the clutches of Filipino Imperialists;
5. It will promote “unity in diversity” among Filipinos.
6. It is a good antidote to the Mindanao secession;
7. It will establish a truly inclusive political system;
8. It will lead to balanced development in the Philippines.
9. It will truly empower Filipinos; and
10. It will make our people and nation more competitive in a globalizing world and in the 4th Industrial Revolution era, and a pandemic – prone world.
A “Whole-of-Nation” collaboration approach in addressing this issue is highly recommended to increase the degree of acceptance of our shift to this inclusive Federal System.
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