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Are you in favor of a federal Philippines?


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If the form of Govt for the Philippines was enacted as a Federal / Parliamentary form of Gov't, how would you like the country states comprises of?
e.g. Calabarzon Region (comprises of Cavite, Laguna, Batagas, Rizal and Quezon).

Can the Federal form of Government beneficial for the Philippines?
 

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Are Filipinos ready for Charter Change?

Are Filipinos ready for Charter Change?

http://www.philstar.com/philstar/News200504159801.htm

Not too many Filipinos are aware of the real issues behind the clamor to amend the Constitution, let alone have a full grasp of the specific and accompanying revisions in the 1987 Constitution being firmed up and debated on by lawmakers.

A recent survey conducted by an independent think-thank group, IBON Foundation, showed that a significant number of Filipinos are still either undecided or unaware of the issue, with only 33.6 percent of respondents saying they are aware of the issue. This was slightly up though from the 32.9 percent recorded in a similar survey conducted previously.

Majority of Filipinos are also not too eager to amend the Constitution by next year to allow a shift to a parliamentary form of government, according to the survey conducted last June 30 to July 9.

Some 44.5 percent of Filipinos are actually not in favor of Charter Change. This was higher than the 38.1 percent who disagreed with the propoal in the previous IBON survey conducted last April. The number of those who support Constitutional amendments also fell from 29 percent in April to 21.83 percent in the recent survey.

IBON partly attributed Filipinos’ continued opposition to Charter change to the perceived motives of politicians to consolidate greater political power.

Most of the respondents in the IBON survey also wanted President Arroyo to focus her attention on improving living conditions as well as curb corruption during her first 100 days in office.

The political party system particularly comes under fire for being "immature," said IBON research director Antonio Tujan Jr. "Thus, under a parliamentary system, the coalitional party can degenerate into an authoritarian majority."

The common argument among lawmakers and analysts is whether the Philippines is mature enough politically to depart from the present presidential form of government. The question now is: Should political maturity come first before Charter change?

According to a political analyst and leading proponent of Charter Change, political maturity follows the makeover of a system. "(Political) maturity comes with the change of institution," Dr. Jose Abueva, chairman of the advisory committee of the Citizens’ Movement for a Federal Philippines (CMFP), said.

In an interview with philstar.com, Abueva pointed out that the basic problems of governance and public administration are rooted in the nation’s "obsolete" political system that obstructs lasting solutions to poverty and underdevelopment.

Philippine politics, which is beset with divisiveness and an undisciplined party system on top of the persistent problems of poverty, population explosion and widening budget deficit, is ripe for change, said Abueva, who was secretary in the Constitutional Convention (Con-con) in 1971.

"It is a "challenging information effort" to educate Filipinos of what good a shift in government style will do for the country," he said.

Finding a cure

A parliamentary form can "cure" the country’s "undisciplined" political party system, Abueva said. But it will not be enough to bring about progress in this poverty-stricken country. It is by transforming the highly centralized unitary-presidential to a parliamentary-federal system that bold reforms will be pursued and attained, he said.

By changing the system, government will be closer to the people and political parties will be transformed progressively, he added. "Political parties will become strong, stable, disciplined and program-oriented organizations to mobilize the participation of citizens in the affairs of government," the CMFP proposal on Charter change said.

Even as majority of lawmakers in both chambers of Congress are presently pro-administration, this does not automatically translate into full backing of Mrs. Arroyo’s proposed legislations, it noted.

Political bickering and constant party switching have been known to hinder work at Congress in the past. Under the current system, the executive must also engage in lengthy debates and lobbying with the two chambers of Congress before a bill can be passed.

"Under the present political party system, GMA has the huge majority in the House and a comfortable majority in the Senate but it does not mean she has the support of the legislature," Abueva said.

He said the country’s political system will be transformed because political parties will be competing with each other in attracting support from the people.

"Parliament will consist of 100 more seats (in the House) than those regularly elected by districts. But it should not exceed 300 because it is expensive. The 100 will be reserved for distribution to the political parties according to the total votes they get nationwide. What does this mean? It is a big incentive for the parties. Get more votes so that they can get a bigger share in the 100 seats," Abueva explained.

It is through the reformed political parties that the national government and local governments will be more accountable to the people, Abueva said.

And the President could be the "transforming" rather than a "reforming" president that she can be if her push to revise the 1987 Constitution to accommodate her proposed change in government takes place, Abueva pointed out.

"At least now, there is general awareness on the part of our leaders (in Congress). They realize that our (present presidential) system is flawed," the former president of the state-owned University of the Philippines said, citing the prolonged applause Mrs. Arroyo received from legislators during her state-of-the-nation address last month when she called for revising the country’s Charter next year to allow for a parliamentary form of government.

Past leaders and the political elite," Abueva said, have continued the practice of our colonial masters and have allowed Manila to remain centralized. The unitary-presidential structure in the Philippines dates back to American colonial rule.

"They did not have the imagination to break away from the past. Being creative means changing the form of government," Abueva stressed.

The daunting task for the Arroyo administration is ensuring that the public is well informed of what Charter change is all about in the first place to pave the way for support from Filipinos, majority of whom are living in poverty.

"That is a tall order," Abueva admitted when asked how the President would be able to convince the people that changing the form of government would prove to be beneficial to them.

He, however, said Mrs. Arroyo can "persuade" the people if she continues to provide basic services to them.

Abueva expressed confidence that the President can make it happen, citing a well enough performance in office for three and a half years before she got a new six-year term in the May 10 elections.

"GMA, in her first three and a half years in office was able to demonstrate that the government can deliver services which are mandated by law and to which money has been appropriated. Kulang (It was not enough) but there is delivery and she can persuade the people where the money will go because she’s trying to demonstrate all the time that she is trying to help like in housing, social welfare etc.," he explained.

And having a vice president popular to the masses by her side could also do the trick.

"It should not be difficult for her to convince the people with (Vice President) Noli de Castro helping, that is why she is using Noli as a way to make her communicate to the public," Abueva said.

The CFMP, which advocates Charter change through constitutional convention, has been developing its draft on constitutional reforms for over three years. It conducts research and consults with local political leaders and scholars from different universities across the country.

A constitutional convention means that people would have to elect who will amend the Constitution. Another way of amending the Charter though is to transform Congress into a constitutional assembly.

The CMFP proposal

According to Abueva, there are two main compelling reasons why the Philippines needs to adopt a different form of government: a defective presidential system and a dysfunctional political party system.

The parliamentary-federal system being proposed by the CMFP will see the national government only responsible for national security and defense, foreign relations, currency and monetary policy, citizenship, human rights, customs and immigration issues, among other functions of a federal government. All other socio-economic functions and government services that impact directly on the lives of the people will be the responsibility of ten regional governments or States and their local governments.

This is true in countries like Malaysia, India, Canada, Australia and Federal Republic of Germany, the CMFP noted.

The 10 proposed states under a federal form are Northern Luzon-Cordillera, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, West Visayas-Palawan, East Visayas, North and West Mindanao, Bangsamoro and Central and South Mindanao.

Under the parliament, the executive and legislative powers are combined. The leader of the majority party or coalition is elected as Prime Minister by parliament as well as members of the Cabinet.

According to the CMFP proposal, parliament shall be bicameral. Members of the "House of the People" will be elected in the parliamentary districts and by "proportional representation" of the political parties.

The CMFP argued that while some supporters of parliamentary government want to have a unicameral legislature, another house in the parliament is needed "to represent and promote the rights and interest of the States."

This will ensure the states’ or regional governments’ autonomy, powers, functions and resources vis-à-vis the federal government, it said.

"The members of the House and States - much smaller in number - shall be chosen by the State Assemblies," it said. "Every state or regional government shall have an elective State Assembly that also combines executive and legislative power."

The regional government elects the leader of the majority party or coalition as the State Governor who then forms a State Cabinet "made up mostly of members of the State Assembly.

A voter, Abueva said, will vote for a member of the parliament in his district and the national party of choice. He will also vote for a member of the State Assembly and the party of his choice.

The CMFP is also proposing a special article in the Constitution that will acquaint political parties on their roles as members of the system. Another proposal is the inclusion of a "bill of duties and obligations" of Filipino citizens. "This will be accompanied by a reform in the electoral system," Abueva said.

GMA as Prime Minister?

If the Charter is revised before the 2007 polls, Mrs. Arroyo can be prime minister, owing to the six-year mandate she was given in the May 10 elections, Abueva said.

"Certainly she cannot be deprived of her right because she was elected to a six-year term. So she can continue to be head of government and head of state but only until 2010," he said, referring to the expiration of Mrs. Arroyo’s term, adding that

Parliament has a term of only five years.

If the shift to parliamentary-federal form is established by 2007, a new prime minister will be elected in 2010 after Mrs. Arroyo’s term ends, Abueva explained. "But it can also be provided that the President’s term be extended for two years but not as prime minister, just a member of parliament," he said, noting this can be provided for in the transitory provision in the constitutional revision.

"Wholesale changes" will be introduced in the Charter, Abueva said as two articles will be affected: the presidency and Congress. "When two whole articles are changed, it is already a revision. An amendment is like just changing the term of a president," he said.
 

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I like the idea of a federal government, with Malacanang/Manila taking care of foreign policy, money, defence, exports while the states take care of national roads, hospitals, police, etc. Something similar here to Australia. Power is better spread out, even if it does result in arguing, imo it's better than one president who basically can say whatever he/she wants and it will happen.
 

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i also like the idea of having a federal form of government. each state will be responsible for its own affairs, without always relying on the federal government. i guess the form of government that we have right now is just too overwhelmed with too much problems, services, demands from the people and other things that need attention. if there are states that will somehow "delegate" these basic services closer to the people, then at least the national government will be relieved of too much burden. also, if these states progress as sub-economies then progress in different parts of the country is most likely to happen.
 

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Truly, a federal system of government is what is suitable for our country being a archipelago, with such great ethnic diversity and ol'... So far our centralized system has only congested MM and limited substantial countryside development.

I'm not too keen with a parliamentary though ... It's only a shift of power and basically whatever form of government we have, if our officials are corrupt then its of no use anyways...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
chymera00 said:
I'm not too keen with a parliamentary though ... It's only a shift of power and basically whatever form of government we have, if our officials are corrupt then its of no use anyways...
But isn't it that Parliamentary is better than Bicameral congress? For example, Phil Govt is really in a hurry to pass the Expanded VAT Law as Philippines is gearing up for a fiscal meltdown, this resulted to 2 different versions of the Evat law, one from Lower house and one from the senate. Impasse is the result w/c is very counter productive and not to mention a waste in Philippine resources.
 

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I agree. Parliamentary reduces the time for a law to be enacted thus less corruption, and more productive and efficient government. And it's easier to spot corrupt officials in a parliament.

I just hate to see how the useless congressmen and senators use up our countries financial resources with their stupid pork barrels which hell we know much of it just end up in their pockets... and u see them do pointless bickerings, to make the media swarm over them and gain publicity in a very wrong way...
 

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Federal form of govt would be nice. I cant wait to see every state in the philippines to have their own downtown with skyline just like in US :D and also every state will have their own economy and can make laws suitable for the needs and culture of its ethnic people. I think this will be the solution in our divided country.
 

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Yeah...I agree too. I am looking forward for a charter change, i hope GMA's administration can implement this. Laws & projects would not have to pass through as many approvals, therefore the government would become more productive. It will also reduce the chance of corruption as said before.

but let me ask this to everyone agreeing to a charter change: What are the cons of this charter change? And how much will it affect society and the economy?
 

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GreyX said:
Yeah...I agree too. I am looking forward for a charter change, i hope GMA's administration can implement this. Laws & projects would not have to pass through as many approvals, therefore the government would become more productive. It will also reduce the chance of corruption as said before.

but let me ask this to everyone agreeing to a charter change: What are the cons of this charter change? And how much will it affect society and the economy?
Parliamentary vs Bi-cameral-Presidencial
Pros
- No Actor/Bogus president
- Fast Law enactment
- No need to wait for 6 years to replace a PM. A parliamentarian invoking a 'No vote of confidence' supported by majority votes is sufficient [hence, no need to go to street and stage people power revolt]

Cons
- Traditional Politicians rules [hmm better than a bogus president]

Federal Govt vs Republic
Pros
- Country's wealth evenly distributed
- Every region has their own mini-presidents (e.g. Governor) and enforcemnt of local laws applicable for the region
- Central Govt to handle Finances, Foreign Affairs and external defence.

Cons
- Less wealthy regions will have greater tendencies to breakaway from the federation of states w/c means war [most likely bangsamoro region]. Example is Indonesia [Aceh and Timor]

Note that its better to go with Federal State using Parliamentary form of Government [like Malaysia] instead of Federal Form using Presidential w/ 2 Congress [House and senate] like USA (my own opinion).
 

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GreyX said:
Yeah...I agree too. I am looking forward for a charter change, i hope GMA's administration can implement this. Laws & projects would not have to pass through as many approvals, therefore the government would become more productive. It will also reduce the chance of corruption as said before.

but let me ask this to everyone agreeing to a charter change: What are the cons of this charter change? And how much will it affect society and the economy?
well let see.

In democratic republic people elect the president and if they dont feel comfortable they will have people power.....and it is all about showbiz, administration and opposition parties....

In Parliamentary we have a president and a prime minister. The president is mainly on domestic concerns while the prime minister is focuses on economic concerns and international relations. In this case the prime minister do most of the job and the people did not elect him he was elected or voted by the parliament.

In Federal Government we will be divided into separate states each has their own autonomy and economy and laws. Each state is functioning as one country. Federal government is a more mature version of democratic republic. At least in federal form of government if the going gets rough all blames will not be thrown away to a single people which is the president. And laws will be easily implemented.

Since we are a democratic republic, a federal form of government would be appropriate for our transition because it is almost the same as democratic republic. Instead of using regions 1,2,3, CAR, ARMM and NCR..we will be using "state of" and the power is not centralized in the core region.

Pero mga peeps ang pinakamaganda ay Parliamentary System Form of Government kasi mababawasan ang mga taong nagmamagaling. Kaya hindi tayo umunlad mga pinoys ay dahil sa ating demokrasya tayo ay masyadong na overwhelemed. Lahat ng maupo sa malakanyang nais patalsikin. Lahat ng natalong presidente nadaya daw except roco and de venecia. Sa parliamentary mababawasan ang too much politics na umiiral sa ating bansa at tanging mga matatalinong tao lamang ang pwedeng mamuno at tumakbo sa parliamentary eleksyon. Mababawasan ang mga ilusyonadong artista na nais maupo sa pwesto. Yon lang po....Dapat magkaroon ng separation of church, states and showbiz..PEACE
 

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Less wealthy regions will have greater tendencies to breakaway from the federation of states w/c means war [most likely bangsamoro region]. Example is Indonesia [Aceh and Timor]
But can't you subsidise, from the wealthy areas to the poorer regions? The proposed Federal government can organise this, it can result in other "states" bickering in Parliament but beats bickering with M16's.
 

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Christerdom said:
If the form of Govt for the Philippines was enacted as a Federal / Parliamentary form of Gov't, how would you like the country states comprises of?
I think a good division would be by main language. Tagalog State. Ilocano State. Bikol State. Cebuano State. Kapampangan State. Hiligaynon State.
 

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any form of govt will not be successful if their institutions are weak, so we have to focus first on strengthening our institutions like justice system, police system, tax collection system, etc. shifting is never thate easy to analyze :)
 

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Well Yeah a Parliamentary System will result in a faster passing of laws but wont that mean more loopholes?

I agree with our System having a lot of flaws but I think we can do good with a Republican System just as the USA has all we need to do is amend outdated and flawed parts of the constitution.

I really dont think choosing between the two is necessarily important, its the people behind gov't who is responsible if our country develops or not ...
 

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well for me it easier to change the form of our government than to wait to change the mindset of our people to become a disciplined, responsible citizen and intelligent voter to elect a good leader and manager of our country.

We have a very good chance to become better if we change the form of our government and that chance cannot be in waiting for another decade not unless we want to be a laggard for another decade. If the form of government change the people will change also and so is the politician. In parliamentary there is no power grabing and the best minister will be chosen among the best while in democratic republic all they need is a popular person like ERAP or FPJ with charm with the poor masses to take the highest position in the land. If we will remain a democratic republic the worst case scenario is Jinggoy Estrada will run for president on 2010, Richard Gomez and Eddie Garcia will run for senate and so on.....

Para sa mga mamamayan na mataas ang pinag-aralan katulad natin dito sa forum nakakasama ng loob at nakakatakot kung ganitong mga klase ng tao ang mamumuno sa atin. Nag acting workshop na lang sana ako at hindi kumuha ng kursong enhinyero...
 

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mysaong03 said:
any form of govt will not be successful if their institutions are weak, so we have to focus first on strengthening our institutions like justice system, police system, tax collection system, etc. shifting is never thate easy to analyze :)
with 85million people, big budget deficit, almost 60billion dollar debts, a gnp of only USD1200 per capita income....there is no way we can strengthen our institutions. The power and the wealth is only in Manila, thats why the President and Congress wanted a charter change because they find it very hard to govern and to distribute even the basic services the government can offer to its people. Example of this many filipinos wanted to work abroad needs to go to manila to process their passport, NBI etc...because all this can only be done in Manila. Another thing is all income from Taxes, Customs etc goes to the Philippine government and the Philippine government allocate this income for its projects but If we become a federal or parliament wherein every state will have their own income and will only give a percent of it to the Philippine government they will not need to beg to the Philippine government to allocate funds for their respective states.
 

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I think becoming a federal republic will be a large step towards the development of our country. Tama ka ncbmandy. It has a lot of advantages. Bu I think it will take a very long process to adjust and get used to it. And we never know whether it will be a success or not. Each state would have their own mini-parliament then and have their own laws. It will be good because they will be responisible for themselves, their own economies and capabilities etc. and there will be contrasts! I think if this would happen, we should name all 13 regions by their actual names. NCR, Central Luzon, Ilocos Reqion, Central Visayas, Western Visayas etc. Metro Manila would be like a city-state then! :) and we will see new smaller skylines sprouting throughout the country and we will be either called "Fedreal Republic of the Philippines or Philippine Federation(?), I guess. Look at France as a republic, Paris has always maintained as the heart and soul of the country but they still managed to be stable. I think we are less fortunate in that, I'm not saying that it is not possible for us but I also think that a federal government would be better.
 

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chymera00 said:
Truly, a federal system of government is what is suitable for our country being a archipelago, with such great ethnic diversity and ol'... So far our centralized system has only congested MM and limited substantial countryside development.

I'm not too keen with a parliamentary though ... It's only a shift of power and basically whatever form of government we have, if our officials are corrupt then its of no use anyways...

I agree with FEDERAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT ... one of the problems besetting the Philippines' progress is over-centralisation of government in Metro Manila. There are lots of provinces, which I believed can stand of running their own services, governance, etc.

In the same way as I like Federalism ... I, too, supports the Parliamentary form of government. As we know, parliamentary government lessen the time for a law to be enacted hence lower corruption and a more productive and effective government will be in place.

Over-all ... my vote goes to FEDERAL-PARLIAMENTARY government for the Philippines.
 
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