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RANDOM THOUGHTS | Proposed Philippine-style federalism?





“AS THE tendency of countries that have been tyrannized over, when they have shaken off the yoke, is to adopt the freest government by a law of reaction, the Islands (Philippines) will probably declare themselves a Federal Republic…” (Jose Rizal, “Las Filipinas Dentre de Cien Años, 1887)

“Upang maintindi natin ang bantayog ng ating lipunan, kailangang radikal nating baguhin hindi lamang ang ating mga institusyon kundi maging ang ating pag-iisip at pamumuhay. Kailangan ang rebolusyon hindi lamang sa panlabas kundi lalo na sa panloob!” (Apolinario Mabini, “La Revolucion Filipina”, 1898)

Mabini, if my memory serves me right, was the one who introduced a Federal System with three (3) Federated States during the Malolos Constitutional Convention. Unfortunately, it was not adopted. Hence, Andres Bonifacio’s revolution remains unfinished. Sad to note, after a little more than a century, “wala pa ring Sistemang Pederal!”

Part of the FOREWORD, written by Atty. Aristeo Vicente Albay, Chairman of KPP, of the 2017 Manual on “How To Federalize The Philippines”, a Project of “Tagapagtanggol ng Mamamayan Development Center (TMDC).” Inc. through Its “Kilos Pederal Sa Pagbabago (KPP)” Movement, states: “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. KPP proposed initially to create five (5) Federal Regions in our country. Other proposals range from two (2) to eighteen Federated Regions.

Yours truly, has been studying, writing on and advocating for Federalism for, more or less, thirty five (35) years now. The recent Supreme Court’s decision correcting our Executive Branch’s erroneous interpretation of the 40% share of Local Government Units’ (LGUs”) share of all National Taxes radically, no doubt, should be one of the major factors to be considered in going federal. Surely, LGU would strongly fight to maintain their 40% present allocation.

Fully aware of the current realities, this Federalist writer is now proposing a Philippine-Style Federalism with three (3) Federal Regions of: 1) Luzon Federal Region, 2) Visayas Federal Region, and 3) Mindanao (including Sulu and Palawan which was the ancestral domain of our nation in this proposal. All national taxes shall be shared following this formula:

1) Federal National Government 40% for, 2) 20% for Federal Regional Governments, and 3) 40% for Federal Local Governments, including those LGUs in the Bangsamoro and in Cordillera Administrative Region.
2) Funding for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Government will be shared by the BARMM Government and the National Federal Government.
3) Funding for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Government will be shared by the CAR Government and the National Federal Government.

The three (3) Federal Region Governments Executive Branch shall be composed of the three (3) expanded Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Development Authority. Each of these shall be headed by an elected vice President.

The Shared Jurisdictions of each Federal Region Government are the following:
• Economic and Development
• Public Works and Highways
• Social Welfare and Development
• Health
• Education and Culture
• Agriculture and Fishery
• Environment and National Resources
• Tourism
• Communication and Transportation
• Commerce and Industry

The Federal Region One-House Legislative Branch shall be composed of two (2) elected regional Representatives per Administrative or Autonomous Region within each Federal Region. It shall be headed by a Speaker Court and three-man Court of Appeals.

Because of financial constraint, our Philippine – Style Federalism main purpose is now to hasten implementation of projects, programs and other government services with special attention to Visayas and Mindanao. This may not only promote growth but also equity guided by our Dream Philippine Shared Vision of: “A nation of God –Loving and Healthy People Unity in Diversity, with Full Democracy, Diamond-Shaped Humane, Just and Innovative Society, Sustainable Prosperity and Lasting Peaceful.”

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