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THE NEED FOR THE SHIFT OF THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT TO FEDERALISM

FROM THE UNITARY FORM IN THE PHILIPPINES

Submitted by:

Rosios, Ruby R.
Salcedo, Olivia Nicole M.

ABM 3 Sr. Mary Dominica Long


Philippines, having a unitary form of government, has experienced and is still
experiencing a lot of problems especially when were talking about peace in our country.
President Duterte said, If you do not reconfigure the unitary type of government now,
which is the one that were using, and if there is no change in Mindanao, there will be no
peace until the end of time for the Philippines. He calls for a shift to federalism to solve
this kind of difficulties within our country. Federalism is a form of government where the
country will break into autonomous regions with a national government focused only on
interests with nationwide bearing: foreign policy and defense. India, Brazil and United
States of America are some of the countries where federal type of government is
observed. A shift to the Philippines form of government to Federalism will be favorable
to our country because it lessens dependence on Metro Manila, provides more power
over funds, brings the government closer to the people and serves as a possible
solution to the Mindanao conflict.

Former Senator President Aquino Pimentel Jr. is proposing that the country
would be divided into 11 federal states however, this would result to uneven distribution
of wealth among local units. Regions differ in the availability of natural resources and
because of this, less performing regions would remain stagnant. States with good
leaders will progress faster while states with ineffective ones will degrade more than
ever because national government will not be there to balance them out. There is also a
confusing lap in jurisdiction. The responsibility of state government and the national
government is not clearly stated. Ambiguities may rise that leads to conflict and
confusion of responsibilities. Shifting to federalism won't come cheap. It would entail
billions of pesos to set up state governments and the delivery of state services. States
will then have to spend for the elections of their officials. However, Federalism will still
be beneficial to our country because in this form of government, the dependence on
Metro Manila will be diminished in terms of the agreement of activities and projects with
the national and local government. The locals can decide for themselves. It is important
for a high populated country to distribute the power because they also experience
problems wherein there is a need for a quick decision and a solution. Without
federalism, they will still be waiting for the approval of the decision that will come from a
distant place, Manila where the national government is located. Local government will
have more power over funds and their resources with federalism. The unitary form of
government here in the Philippines makes it slower for the projects, budget and other
decisions of local government to be addressed because it still requires for the approval
of the national government that is located in Manila. One of the problems experienced
by local governments is that they can only collect real estate tax and business permit
fees but if the system of government will change, they could retain more of their income
and would be required to turn over only a portion to the state government they fall
under. Thus, the money of the local and state governments could be spend on
programs and other government activities without waiting for the approval of the
national government. Federalism will also bring the government closer to the people. It
will make all local leaders, including those part of political dynasties, more accountable
to their constituents. State governments will no longer have any excuse for delays in
services or projects that, in the present situation, are often blamed on choking
bureaucracy in Manila. Federalism is a possible solution to the Mindanao conflict,
because within the federalist system the creation of the state of Bangsamoro may
address concerns of separatists who crave more autonomy over the administration of
Muslim Mindanao.

The Philippines should make a move now because the condition of the country
economically is not that good and changing the form of government will open the
country to new opportunities, improvements and high chances of success. A shift to the
Philippines form of government to Federalism will be favorable to our country because
it lessens dependence on Metro Manila, provides more power over funds, brings the
government closer to the people and serves as a possible solution to the Mindanao
conflict.