THE powers-that-be are contemplating on changing our form of government: from the now stable republican to one of federalism. They must have compelling reasons to make the radical change and these must stand to debates at Congress when the matter is brought to bear on the honorables of both Houses.
Meanwhile, the administration currently in power is mustering enough support to back stop the shift to federalism which, according to supporters and avid followers, will cure all the deficiencies of the present set up.
Expectedly, house leaders of Congress are ecstatic over the prospect of federalism led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a staunch ally of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Both bat for Con-Ass as a way of changing the form of government involving the sitting congressmen and senators who will serve as delegates.
Rep. Karlo Nograles, 1st District of Davao City, called Con-Ass as the most cost-efficient and practical method especially when compared to the rather expensive Constitutional Convention method. The Con-con, which involves the election of delegates from all districts in the country,
will cost the government some P7 billion. Whew!
Congressmen Abu and Evardone think federalism will fast track passage of significant bills as well as the implementation of the government's pro-people projects, programs and other beneficial initiatives.
Other representatives who belong to the ruling party, the PDP-Laban, like Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, claim that it is easier to pass bills if there is a unicameral legislative system. Speaker Alvarez adds that "federalism is needed to make lawmaking more effective as many bills approved by the Lower Chamber are languishing in the Senate". Aruy!
As expected, the idea of shifting to federalism faces rough opposition in the Senate as the senators are not inclined to approve within a few months' time any amendment to the 1987 Constitution. They are presently lukewarm to the shift to federalism. The Duterte boys must look into the attitude of the senators and find ways to make them follow the initiative of the pro-Duterte lawmakers.