Puno dis­cusses fed­er­al­ism with MIMAROPA stake­hold­ers

Palawan Daily News - - Front Page - By Palawan Daily News

For­mer Chief Jus­tice Rey­nato S. Puno, Chair­man of the Con­sul­ta­tive Com­mit­tee (ConCom) that re­viewed the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion, served as the key re­source per­son dur­ing the Fo­rum on Fed­er­al­ism con­ducted by the MIMAROPA Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil (RDC) on Au­gust 01, 2018 at the La Breza Ho­tel, Que­zon City.

NEDA Un­der­sec­re­tary for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Ado­ra­cion M. Navarro at­tended the fo­rum as a re­ac­tor to­gether with Gov­er­nor Al­fonso V. Umali, Jr. of Ori­en­tal Min­doro and Gov­er­nor Ed­uardo C. Fir­malo of Romblon.

Also in at­ten­dance were Gov­er­nor Car­mencita O. Reyes of Marinduque, Mayor Lu­cilo R. Bay­ron of Puerto Princesa City, Mayor Roberto M. Madla of Boac, Marinduque, Mayor Lu­cena D. De­maala of Narra, Palawan, re­gional di­rec­tors of re­gional line agen­cies, pres­i­dents of state uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges, and pri­vate sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

In his wel­come re­marks, RDC Vice Chair­per­son and NEDA MIMAROPA Re­gional Direc­tor Atty. Raul S. An­lo­cotan men­tioned that the lack of com­pre­hen­sive un­der­stand­ing on the con­cept of fed­er­al­ism re­sulted in un­cer­tainty and re­sis­tance to change. He em­pha­sized that the fo­rum was con­ducted to in­form the MIMAROPA stake­hold­ers

about fed­er­al­ism and other pro­posed changes in the con­sti­tu­tion.

For­mer Chief Jus­tice Puno as­serted that the move to­wards fed­er­al­ism is for the ben­e­fit of the peo­ple in the re­gions. He said that through fed­er­al­ism, the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units (LGUs) shall be en­dowed with po­lit­i­cal power and fi­nances to gov­ern them­selves suc­cess­fully. He pre­sented the high­lights of the de­sign, struc­ture, pow­ers, and sources of funds of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and the re­gional gov­ern­ments that are stip­u­lated in the draft fed­eral con­sti­tu­tion.

He added that un­like other fed­er­ated coun­tries with a com­pet­i­tive type of fed­er­al­ism, the Philip­pines will have the ‘Bayani­han’ kind of fed­er­al­ism where the spirit of help­ing each other will pre­vail.

NEDA USec. Navarro as­sured ev­ery­one that the NEDA will sup­port any un­der­tak­ing that will em­power the Filipinos to en­joy a ‘matatag, mag­in­hawa at panatag na buhay.’ She shared that based on NEDA’s ini­tial as­sess­ment, only three re­gions are ready for the pro­posed fed­er­al­ism struc­ture, namely the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion, CALABARZON, and Davao Re­gion. She em­pha­sized the need to study fur­ther the draft fed­er­al­ism con­sti­tu­tion and af­firmed that NEDA sup­ports the cre­ation of a fed­eral tran­si­tion com­mis­sion, through a law rather than an ex­ec­u­tive or­der since the un­der­tak­ing in­volves all branches of gov­ern­ment, to con­tinue con­duct­ing a gen­uine and com­pre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tion of fed­er­al­ism.

Gov­er­nor Umali ex­pressed the con­cern of the Gov­er­nors’ League re­gard­ing the qual­i­fi­ca­tion of the re­gions to be fed­er­ated. He added that the char­ter change may just add an­other layer of bu­reau­cracy, which will be more dif­fi­cult for the LGUs in terms of man­age­ment.

Gov­er­nor Fir­malo pointed mat­ters on eq­uity of re­sources, phys­i­cal con­nec­tiv­ity of re­gions, and readi­ness of peo­ple. He added the need to learn from the mis­takes of other fed­er­ated coun­tries. Given that he used to be a prac­tic­ing sur­geon, he likened the shift to a fed­er­al­ism struc­ture to a ma­jor surgery which needs to be backed by thor­ough re­search and study be­cause mis­takes can cost the pa­tient’s life.

Other is­sues raised by the par­tic­i­pants were about the eco­nomic fea­si­bil­ity of fed­er­al­ism, ef­fect of fed­er­al­ism on ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion, achieve­ment of fi­nan­cial au­ton­omy, MIMAROPA’s readi­ness for the pro­posed fed­er­al­ism struc­ture, and avail­abil­ity of ma­te­ri­als on fed­er­al­ism for in­for­ma­tion dis­sem­i­na­tion and ad­vo­cacy.

In closing, Atty. An­lo­cotan en­cour­aged ev­ery­one to study the fi­nal draft sub­mit­ted by the ConCom com­pared to the 1987 con­sti­tu­tion to know how the shift to a fed­eral form of gov­ern­ment will af­fect the re­gions, par­tic­u­larly MIMAROPA. (P.R.)

For­mer Chief Jus­tice Rey­nato S. Puno, Chair­man of the Con­sul­ta­tive Com­mit­tee (ConCom)

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