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 EDITORIAL: Economics of Fedralism

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PostSubject: EDITORIAL: Economics of Fedralism   Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:01 pm

Economics of Federalism

Nobody knows the Local Government structure better than Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel,Jr. , senator of the Republic and author of the Local Governments Code.

That is why when this man from the opposition raises the call for serious Federalism , every body listens, and even the administration to which he is a staunch critic , not only listens, but supports its idea.

This idea is embodied in Senate Resolution 10. The question is, will the Senate and Congress adopt it? And if so, when will it be implemented? Offhand he has 16 Senate colleagues supporting, thus he has three fourths votes. To his big surprise, President Arroyo is supporting Federalism, thus we can surmise that the Lower House majority follows suit. Therefore, we can say offhand that indeed, Federalism could happened even before the end of their terms in 2010. That is if our legislators will think of Nation first, and themselves second.

Pimentel emphasizes that Federalism is a switch from the present unitary system which is the concentration of power in one place that is Manila. Federalism will transfer the focus of power to eleven regions all over the country, four regions each in Luzon and Visayas and three in Mindanao including the new Bangsa Moro region which is actually the present ARMM or the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

The regions or Federal States will be headed by a Federal Governor whose legislative body will be composed of selected provincial board members from member provinces.
Economics wise, from 60-40 sharing of internal revenue taxes-only at present, the 11 regions will get 80-20 sharing with the national government, with money coming from all government-income not just taxes. Budget-wise, Negros Oriental’s IRA of P843M at present will increase to P1.585Billion under the Federal System.

Moreover, Metro Manila will just be the seat of the administrative region like that of Washington DC, or Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia, while the Executive department will remain in Manila; Congress will now be transferred to the Visayas while the Supreme Court will be in Mindanao.

But there has to remain with us, ONE Constitution, one Judiciary, one Supreme Court, one Armed Forces and one educational (DepEd) curriculum. The main purpose of the 11 Federal “states” is to speed up economic development and dissipate continued unrest in Muslim Mindanao, -- not change our political structure.

If adopted by both Houses of Congress, then the legislature will convene itself into a Constituent Assembly, for the purpose of amending the Constitution under the concept of Resolution 10, and with both houses voting separately.
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