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Duterte proposes Federal gov’t

  • Written by People's Tonight
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 3851

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte reiterated the urgent need to adopt a Federal system of government, citing the small financial share received by the local governments from the highly-centralized government  and the gravity of situation in Mindanao.
   
There will be at least 14 Federal States, which is equivalent to the current regional groupings,  under the Federal system of government which Duterte is proposing to replace the present Unitary Presidential Form.
   
“Its hard to achieve economic progress under a unitary government, which is what we have now. We have no authority to decide concerning our own budget. How can we move forward under the present set-up,  when all the money must be forwarded to the national treasury, in the hands of the national treasurer,” Duterte said before the students, faculty members and top officials of the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) in Intramuros, Manila.
   
Duterte was conferred as outstanding alumnus and guest speaker during the university’s 63rd foundation anniversary and 124th birth anniversary of its founder Dr. Jose P. Laurel.
   
Duterte stressed that under the current system of highly centralized government, it has more of disadvantages as all the income and revenues, except the property tax, which cannot be easily raised, need to be turned over to the national government.
   
“I am batting for Federalism because under this setup, we can easily provide jobs for our constituents as we have full authority in our own income,” said Duterte adding they are powerless as far as budgetary decision is concerned.
   
“Under a unitary government which is what we have now, all the money must be forwarded to the national treasury, in the hands of the national treasurer,” Duterte said. “Every centavo, all of the funds are there.  It’s only the national government that can handle the money for all of us.”
   
The Davao City mayor cited for instance that Mindanao contributes about 54 percent of dollar earnings of the country yet the region does not receive enough support from the government. “We have to change this system,” he said.
   
Recalling our history, Duterte  said it was  the Americans that perpetuated the unitary type of government in the country after the Filipino-American War. “Then they helped us to frame our own constitution during the time of former President Manuel L. Quezon similar to theirs. The Americans made us to adopt the same unitary type of government that was imposed by the Spaniards on us but different from that of the United States, which has a Federal form of government.”
   
Duterte strongly believed that the non-adoption of the Federal-type of government was deliberately done since the US invested so much in the Philippines and were exploiting our natural resources.
   
Duterte explained that after the Philippines became a Republic in 1946 and the so-called Parity Rights between the Philippine and US governments was approved, the Americans wanted to continue the same opportunity to exploit and develop our natural resources and to make money. “And this was possible only under a unitary system of government,” he said.
   
“The US knew how difficult it is to deal with two sets of powerful sectors under the Federal setup, the Federal government and state or regional governors. But under the unitary mode, they only need to deal with one or two figures and their franchises are already approved,” Duterte added.
   
Touching the issue of his candidacy for 2016 presidential election, Duterte said: “Nandito ang lahat ng magagandang lalaki at babae sa Maynila. Dito na lang muna kayo tumingin. Si Sen. Grace Poe, good, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, good. Si Sen. Alan Cayetano, good. Si Sen. Chiz Escudero, good. Pero  ’pag wala kayong makita rito, lumingon lang kayo sa South kasi nandoon ang very good,” Duterte said in jest, drawing applause from the crowd.
   
As for the worsening peace and order situation in Mindanao, Duterte said the creation of Federal States, especially for the Bangsamoro who have been clamoring for self-governance, is the best option for the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity, which will be created with the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law in Congress.
   
Before ending his speech, Duterte thanked the Laurels who own and manage the Lyceum of the Philippines, for the honor bestowed on him as an outstanding alumnus and claimed that he and his father who once served as governor of Davao del Sur are both Nacionalistas, which was for several decades under the able leadership of the Laurels.