ABOUT 500 participants from various sectors in Bacolod City attended the Federalism Briefing and Consultation Forum conducted by the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) at the Bacolod Pavilion Hotel yesterday.
PLLO assistant secretary Romulo Arugay said Bacolod is one of the major cities in the Philippines with people who can adopt to any issues involving the government.
He said they chose Bacolod as one of the forum venues because they believe in the leadership of Mayor Evelio Leonardia that will help them reach the grassroots.
“The people here are very attentive and politically mature,” he added.
Duterte had earlier signed Executive Order No. 10, creating a committee that will study, conduct consultations, and review the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, including but not limited to the provisions on the structure and powers of the government, local governance, and economic policies.
Arugay said the target of President Duterte is to shift to federalism by 2019.
The PLLO already held a forum in Dumaguete, Cebu, and Makati cities.
“We came up with federalism because people really want change in government and we are very positive that we will have a new form of government in due time,” Arugay said.
Federalism is a system of government in which written constitution divides power between a central government and regional or sub-divisional government. Both types of government act directly upon the people through their officials and laws.
Arugay said they will consolidate the inputs from various sectors and submit these to the members of the committee formed by President Duterte.
Leonardia said he is thankful to the PLLO for choosing Bacolod to host the forum.
He said the public consultation is very important to get the reaction of the people about the proposed federal form of government.
“There should be awareness and reaction from our people about the plan of the government,” the mayor added.