Philippines Report

Palace positive that senators will favor Federalism

Malacañang is confident that they will be able to convince senators to favor the proposed charter change to a federal form of government.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after Senator Ping Lacson said that the proposed federal form of government is just waiting to be cremated in the upper house of the Congress.

In his press briefing, Roque expressed confidence that the Palace will be able to convince senators by explaining to them about the perks of a federal government.

“Never say die. Ganyan din po ang ekspiryensiya ng Palasyo doon sa TRAIN 2, pero no less than the Senate President sponsored TRAIN 2 (This is the same as what we experienced with TRAIN 2, but it was no less than the Senate President who sponsored it eventually),” he said.

“So we’re confident po once we are able to explain this to the senators, the merits of charter change to federalism, that we will get the required support,” he added.

“We will do this by appealing to reason, and by highlighting the merits of federalism,” he added.

Earlier, the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to review the 1987 Constitution appealed to lawmakers to not immediately reject the idea of a shift to a federal government.

“Let us debate on the idea. Let us give the idea a chance. Let us not shoot it down at once, because one day, you may find it in your heart when you search deep inside your soul that really, if we love this country, this is something we must all work for together regardless of color,” ConCom spokesperson Ding Generoso had said.

Duterte has been pushing for a federal government, claiming that it would decentralize the government and would empower the regions more.

Last month, the ConCom submitted to Duterte the “Bayanihan Federalism” which installs a federal government strong enough to glue the various federated regions and establishes federated regions that are socially, economically and politically viable and sustainable.

ConCom chair former Chief Justice Reynato Puno assured that the proposed federal constitution is completed without being influenced by any partisan politics or elite interest.

Information drive

According to Roque, the information campaign for federalism will start this month and would involve the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

“The roadshow for federalism will commence this month of August. Kasama po ‘yung mga materyales na ginawa ng DILG (This will include the materials created by the DILG), in coordination with academics, ‘yung mga miyembro din ng Consultative Committee (and members of the ConCom),” he said.

Last week, Generoso, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) convened to discuss the steps on informing the public about the proposed charter.

According to Generoso, they are looking into a three-to-six-month period for the intensive information campaign about federalism. He said the full rollout of information dissemination may start in two weeks or when the details for the communications plan are finalized.

“In a… probably a week or two. We are just finalizing the details of the plan now. Actually, we just have to integrate the ideas of the DILG, the PCOO, and the Con-com. We’ll just integrate these into one cohesive plan and then we’ll be ready to roll out,” Generoso said. (ManilaBulletin)

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