Political analyst sees more Pinoys supporting federalism

MANILA A political analyst said majority of Filipino people will eventually support a proposal to change the form of government.

Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms and one of the federalism roadshow speakers, said even skeptics became believers after the advantages and benefits of federalism had been explained to them.

Wala kaming ganun (negative) feedback. Lahat ng pinuntahan namin, kahit yun mga skeptical ay nagsabi na susuporta sila. (We have no such feedback. In all areas we've visited, even those skeptic said they will support), Casiple said in a media interview after the federalism media forum that kicked off NCR's federalism roadshow on Wednesday at the Paranaque City Hall.

He said federalism continues to gain support from local leaders, even in areas with strong opposition to a shift in the form of government from unitary to federalism, such as Cebu and Iloilo.

Sa tingin namin, confident kami, na kapag napaliwanagan ang mga tao, magsusuporta sila (I think we are confident that after explaining to the people, they will support), Casiple said.

Casiple also expressed optimism that the recent Social Weather Station (SWS) survey showing lower awareness and support for federalism will change in favor of a federal system.

Ang tingin namin, yun 70% nagrereflect yun sa okay. Sa tingin namin ang atin mga kababayan ay naghihintay na paliwanagan at doon sila gagawa ng posisyon whether to support or not. Walang usapin dito na automatically ayaw. (In our opinion, 70% reflects to approval. Our countrymen are just waiting for explanation and then they will make decision whether or not support. They did not say automatically they don't like it), he explained.

He said the people opposing federalism are those for their own reasons don't want to change unitary for obvious reasons that they are beneficiaries of the current system.

Pero yun ordinary na Pilipino, hindi sila yun nagbe-benefits sa unitary. Actully, sila ang biktima (But for ordinary Filipinos, they don't benefit in unitary. Actually, they are victims), he said.

Casiple said ordinary people are victims of corruption, poverty and political dynasty, which are all products of the unitary system.

That's why those who said the people do not want federalism, don't believe in them, he said.

He explained that federalism will weaken the patronage system, which is considered as one of the causes of corruption in the country.

Casiple is hoping that Congress will adopt the provision against political dynasty as proposed by the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution.

Under a federal form of government, Casiple said the federated regions will have equal chance to manage their own resources and achieve development that would reduce poverty, particularly in far-flung areas that have been neglected under a Manila-centered unitary system.

He said Duterte's decision to create an inter-agency task force through Memorandum Circular No. 52 on Oct. 31 has bolstered the campaign to promote federalism.

Aside from a media forum, the first two-day regional federalism roadshow in NCR hosted by Paranaque City also includes convention and town hall meeting with different sectors and local government officials.

The federalism roadshow is being conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, in partnership with the regional Philippine Information Agency offices and ConCom.

It aims to develop and disseminate collaterals that will increase awareness and information to voters on the weaknesses and malpractices in the unitary system through evidence-based studies, and why the country needs constitutional reforms and transition to Federalism.

The President's vision to create a system of government that will give lasting peace, progress, and prosperity for all Filipino people paved the way for the current administration to push federalism for the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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