The Davao City-based People’s RevGov for Real Democracy (PRRD) has warned against the permissive federalism set-up comprised of 18 federal regions as proposed by the Consultative Committee (Con-Com).
“This is the worst type scenario because the 18 regions will still be subordinated to a highly-centralized federalism national government,” said PRRD consultant Architect Florencio “Chito” Gavino. “This is far from the aspirations of great majority of pro-federal Filipinos.”
At the same time, Atty. Aristeo Vicente Albay, chairman of the Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago announced the holding of a national convention on federalism this July 14 at the Men Seng Hotel.
Albay said the convention will evaluate and should be able to come up with a critique of the Con-com’s proposal for a federal constitution of the Philippines.
Retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno has been invited as the keynote speaker.
Albay said one of contentious issues to be examined was the Con-com’s proposal for 18 regional states.
Gavino said that in a permissive federalism set-up, the regions or federal states are subordinated to the federal central government from whom they derive their existence and authority. “In short, the regions will only be limited to the powers and authorities that the national government is willing to concede,” Gavino added.
Gavino said that to be blunt about it, permissive federalism stacks up as a recipe for disaster or a formula that will ruin the nation and puts the Filipino people in a great dilemma.
He said the worst part about this set-up is that it was never the product of wide consultation and is certain to trigger the fragmentation of the nation into ‘political fiefdoms’
It is also bound to bloat the bureaucracy as it calls for additional taxes and lessens funds for developmental programs and projects.
Gavino said it is likely to trigger constitutional cases due to many shared powers between the regions and the federal government.
“The set-up is also bound to set off the abolition of existing provinces and will not address the people’s cry for self-determination,” he said.
He said in effect, the package will be a weak foundation that will only firm up a central government and defeat the purpose of federalism.
Like it or not, it will be a poor legacy for Duterte administration, he said.
“Why will the Con-com members do this to the Filipino people,?” Gavino asked. In answer, he said they could have been influenced by disturbing factors for them to come up with an anomalous product.
“For try as they did, the end product was a ‘sintunadong’ pederal song,” he said.