DILG starts federalism roadshow in ARMM

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Bureau of Public Information)

COTABATO CITY – The roadshow aimed at raising public awareness on the proposed shift to a federal form of government has started in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) leading the drive.

The forum is part of the federalism roadshow in the ARMM with the theme “Pederalismo para sa Tunay na Pagbabago” as DILG reiterated that “shifting to a federal form of government perfectly aligns with the Bangsamoro’s hope for local autonomy.”

DILG Assistant Sec. Jonathan Malaya assures that federalism will not undo the developments of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), but rather would serve as the necessary push and support that the Bangsamoro people need for the autonomy they have been fighting for.

Sec. Gary Olivar of the Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform, explained the proposed system – its principles and advantages – vis-avis the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the policy direction of President Rodrigo Duterte on shift to federal form of government are consistent with each other. He also urged the participants to take part in the upcoming plebiscite on the BOL.

When asked by the media on why most Filipinos are still not in favor of changing the present system of government to a federal system, Professor Eddie Alih, a member of the Consultative Committee (Concom) to Review the 1987 Constitution, said, “…it is because they don’t have a broad and deep idea on federalism that’s why we are doing this information drive to build their understanding toward federalism.”

Prof. Alih, during the forum, discussed the economic reforms and fiscal administration, political and social reforms, constitutional bodies and public accountability and transition provisions. “While federalism is not a panacea to all the problems of the Filipino people, it is a step along the way in our journey for better governance and progressive Philippines,” he said.

As stated in Article XI of Concom’s proposal, the federal republic will have 18 regions, 16 of which will be symmetrical. However, the Bangsamoro and Cordilleras will have asymmetrical setups due to provisions of their autonomy, which recognizes ethnicity, culture, customs, traditions, language and distinct identities.

In the case of the Bangsamoro, the BOL provides the new region would have a 75% share of net revenues in the exploration, development, and utilization of its own natural resources. This is unique compared with the system operating in other regions.

“A vast array of potentials awaits the ARMM under a federal setup. We are also excited to see the Bangsamoro finally attain autonomy if it wins the January 2019 plebiscite for the BOL,” Asst. Sec. Malaya said.

Reynold Ong, Eireen Dayne Kwan, Nicole Timtim, Rosel Rodriguez, Charlene Ruelan, Marites Fernandez, Joszelene Perez. (Courtesy of Mindanao Examiner)

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