Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Editorial: Push for federalism still on

EVEN if the economic managers of the country have warned the possible risks should the proposed federal system of government will come into fruition, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte will still continue to push for a change in the charter.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Jr. said the Cabinet members were all supportive of federalism.

"There's 100 percent agreement that we are pushing for federalism. Federalism remains a priority of the President and we need to address obviously even the financial aspects of the constitutional change towards federalism," he added.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier said the proposed federal system would be costly for the government and may impede the momentum in the country's economic growth.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also stressed that the country's current investment grade credit rating status will "go to hell" under the proposed federal set-up.

He said he got confused after reading the draft of the proposed federal charter, as he admitted he is unconvinced of changing the current government set-up.

But Roque refuted the concerns of the two Cabinet members. He stressed there would be no financial risks.

Under the proposal of Consultative Committee, which was tasked by Duterte to amend the 1987 Constitution, there will 18 federated regions, with the National Capital Region as the federal capital under the proposed federal system of government.

The draft also seeks to give a share of not less than 50 percent of all national taxes to the 18 federated regions.

Duterte had pushed for federalism to pave way for equality among the regions.


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