#tell_it_to_sunstar: Junk colonial remnants

THE Provincial Board (PB) is the legislative branch in the province, the governor is the executive branch. Powers duties and functions are defined by the Local Government Code of 1991 authored by former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. (Wikipedia)

Will there be in a federal set-up three legislative bodies: the bi-cameral legislative body in the capital (federal parliament and federal council) to make nationwide valid laws and a framework for the state parliaments, the 11 or 12 unicameral state parliaments to make state laws plus the 81 PBs boards to make provincial laws.

Law confusion, over-organization and contradictions will be the consequence. This must be simplified, but how?

First, since the shift to federalism is a new beginning, Filipinos should leave behind their colonial past and the names of the institutions they still use from that era.

America has senators, the Philippine Senate should be called federal council and their members would be federal councilors and their function would be to represent the interest of the states in the federal government.

Governors were appointed by the Spanish kings and the American presidents to exploit Filipino subjects or brown brothers. Governors per definition are appointees, but today they are elected by the people; consequently the notion is wrong. France has regional préfets, or préfetes for the women in that office. The English word is prefect for both genders. The head of the 81 provinces should be called prefects in the provincial prefectures instead of the Roman word capitol.

In his Seminars on Federalism, “Nene” Pimentel proposes for the State of Central Visayas 69 state legislators: three for each of the five provinces, three for each of the 17 cities, plus one for each sector of farmers, fisher folk and senior citizens. Together 69 state legislators. Federation-wide it sums up to 609 state legislators.

Their work is at first to legislate a state law (not constitution, there is only one by that name) within the frame of the Federal Constitution. Once that is done, what remains to do is the yearly deliberation of the state budget and supervision of its integer execution by the state government.

“Nene” wants state legislators to “be elected by their peers in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Sangguniang Panlungsod respectively.”

In my view this is undemocratic. Lawmakers are representatives of the people and from the people, consequently they must be elected by the people. Not forcibly as independent personalities, in my view exclusively as party members in a priority list of a political party. Then the elusive anti-dynasty law becomes superfluous.

The word party doesn’t occur in “Nene’s” paper nor does a thought on the suffrage in the federation. The present suffrage is the bane of democracy in RP. It must be deeply reformed, particularized and radically simplified to avoid election fraud.

These state legislators would have right to five secretaries and plenty consultants.

Some of them would tend to travel abroad and splurge taxpayers’ money.

This contradicts President Duterte’s frugality and austerity policy.

Moreover three cooks would spoil the broth. Each of them would count on the two others to do the work. None of them could be held accountable for failure. Consequently, one is more productive then three. Triumvirates never worked in history. The present PBs become redundant in a federation. The governors, then prefects with their administration apparatuses, become the executive organs of the state laws in the provinces, including the cities and communities. They deliver services to the population as they are doing at present according to the LGU-Code of 1991.

They shall submit their wish lists to the state lawmakers, but influence peddling of prefects, mayors and captains for undue favors will be turned down. The state lawmakers keep in mind the welfare of the entire state.-- Erich Wannemacher, German expat in LLC
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