SMOKING HOT  Duterte assurance in pushing federalism sought  

President Duterte has been requested to assure Filipinos that he is still ‘smoking hot’ in pushing for federalism and to save one of his centerpiece programs from ‘sliding into irrelevance.’

“This is to belie the idea that if federalism is a patient, it is fighting for its life at the ICU,” said Architect Florencio “Chito” Gavino, consultant of the Davao-based Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago and one of the original advocates for federalism.

He said that as matters stand, President Duterte is what the doctor prescribed all along to bring federalism to a strong footing.

Gavino said that as a patient, federalism is confronted by three major viruses, to include an obstructive Senate, disastrous federalism proposal of Constitutional Committee for 18 regions, and ineffective federalism campaign.

He said this can only be remedied with President Duterte leading the ramparts with a people-mandated revolutionary government—through constitutional reform and shift to a federal system.

He said Con-com’s proposal for 18 regions should be reduced to six viable regions.

He added that a strategic plan for a nationwide information campaign should be adopted that should focus more in Luzon where support for federalism is at its weakest.

“This means more resources be allocated to Luzon than in Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.

He said the Department of Interior and Local Government must also undertake a confidential survey in Luzon to determine weak areas for obvious reasons.

“Then focus our efforts on those weak areas to win them over,” he said.

He said that in addition and interagency task force should be created to be made up of a group headed by DILG undersecretary Martin Dino, another to be headed by Asst. Secretary Malaya and the third to be headed by Secretary Anadar.

He said the first group will be responsible for information drive in the barangays, the second to attend to other groups outside of the barangays, and the third to address all types of media dissemination. Gavino said modules of federalism can be sourced from the Kilos Pederal Sa Pagbabago. (JKL)