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Federalism... pros and cons

hudyathudyat feelingstrangelyfine PExer
hmmm... your comments please


  • WICKEDQUEENWICKEDQUEEN Sooooobrang Tagal ng Member PExer
    I like the idea. I would actually advocate for it if only given the chance! Imagine, each province would be called a state, having its own government, police and economy. I think the Philippine economy will strenghten with this idea. But sad to say the Philippines is not ready yet for such a major change. Hindi pa panahon e. Kumbaga, "Hilaw pa ang mangga." The very little political maturity we have still needs to be strengthened and stabilized, in other words we must have politically competent officials to deliver the public goods. We still don't have much funds to call for a referendum. Those funds still need to be expedited for good projects waiting to be implemented. The economy is still vulnerable to the violent waves of the global market. The Philippines is still not self-sufficient in terms of economics. The biggest challenge we still have to face is the fact that MAJORITY OF THE FILIPINOS DON'T KNOW WHAT FEDERALISM IS ALL ABOUT. In Metro Manila, there are many of us who know. OF COURSE! But in the rural areas, there's a huge clump who doesn't even know what it means.

    Erap is right. I'm not a pro-Erap back then but I find his point reasonable enough. There are still many critical issues we have to prioritize than the shift to federalism. Once we're rid of these major concerns and the Philippines is already better off, then I find no harm in pushing for a FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
  • l'angel'ange Member PExer
    don't know if it's a wise idea. first, a federal republic structure of government is used in the management of a big country--like the states. but imagine how big each state is. the state of california is bigger than the philippines, fyi.

    so, I don't think it is all about the structure. its something else. i don't really know--difference in cultural identities or the lack of it?

  • cool_ambocool_ambo Dr. Kagaw PExer
    The main difference is in MONEY.

    (What else is there?)

    In a federated Philippines, each province would impose its own taxes in its terriory and would spend its own revenue. This is similar to a kid spending all the money that he earned for himself, and for himself alone!

    Furthermore, each province would have the right to thumb its nose on any new law that they do not like to promulgate--like same-sex marriages! lol.gif :cool:

    Each person has to pay federal income tax plus provincial income tax! crying.gif
  • Orion D.Orion D. ex-MODE-rator PExer

    Size of a country has absolutely nothing to do with the Federalism issue. True, larger countries may find it more convenient for them, but the converse doesn't hold that smaller countries "should not" or "aren't worthy" of having Federalist governments.

    To give you an example, Malaysia has a Federal system, and yet their land area isn't as big as ours. Another example... THE USA! The United States of America originally consisted of 13 colonies which had opted to band together to form 13 States under a Federal System during George Washington's time. The land area of those 13 colonies WAS NOT REALLY BIG back then. (Malaysia's federal system, FYI, has to do with the Sultanate system that existed before British colonialism came in. Not size...)

    Federalism, I'd say, is the way to go for countries where there exists a certain need for cultural, linguistic, and ECONOMIC autonomy. It is also best for countries that result from historical differences between the various sub-polities within that country. Remember that the Philippines is not a MONOLITHIC culture, unlike Japan, Germany, and Italy. The Philippines is composed of different ethno-linguistic groups, generally occupying different territories. And the recent 50 years under the USA and 300 or so years under Spain were not enough to "unify" the Philippines to become a culturally (and linguistically) homogeneous and monolithic "nation."

    We still remain a collection of nations (in the true socio-anthropological sense) rather than a "single nation." Likewise, with the need for the recognition of a slightly different legal system for the Muslim dominated areas, the need to recognize that other parts of the Philippines speak and use other languages, and that there is an IMPERATIVE NEED to create OTHER ECONOMIC CENTERS that are alternatives to Manila just means that we really need Federalism.

    Again, size is a non-issue here. Just recognize the fact that we are not a homogeneous-monoculture. And from there, everyone will begin to understand the need to SHIFT PARADIGMS from the current default system to a more practical and more appropriate FEDERAL system.


    PS. I used to be an ignorant Manile?o until I was grade 5. When my family moved to Cebu in grade 6, I learned a lot of things about this country that many people from the capital haven't seen yet...
  • PercyPercy Banned by Admin PExer
    I am a provinciano and I have to admit that I do not know about Federalism as much as a Manilan like Wicked Queen does. But let me just say this. I favor a Federal form of government for one simple reason. That whatever the government of my province or region would collect as taxes would be put to the exclusive use of my home province or region. Instead of helping subsidize the corruption of the national government and the rest of the non-performing regions of the country, we in our state, or whatever they would call it, would strive harder since we would clearly reap the fruits of our labor. We will then have no more problems as regards to our internal revenue allotments (IRA’s) as we painfully have in the present system. Federalism will not dis-integrate our country as some doomsayers like Raul Roco say. Federalism is just granting autonomy equally to all regions instead of giving it solely to the rebellious ones like a portion of Mindanao and the Cordilleras. What do these two regions deserve that the rest of us do not? Do we need to revolt too just to be given attention like them? It is easy to understand why Roco, the two Arroyos and their bands refuse to support Federalism as envisioned by Senators Santiago, Tatad, Osmena and Pimentel. The former are afraid to lose their pork barrels. No doubt, that will be the first casualty. Corruption in the national government is next. Funds will be limited in the national treasury and will be well accounted for in comparison to the present.

    [This message has been edited by Percy (edited 06-20-2000).]
  • PercyPercy Banned by Admin PExer
    WickedQueen does not agree with the immediate adoption of a Federal system of government at this time. She writes, “The very little political maturity we have still needs to be strengthened and stabilized, in other words we must have politically competent officials to deliver the public goods.” Well, at least we have a little of it. That’s better than nothing. The more we wait, the more we prolong our agony. Then she adds, “We still don't have much funds to call for a referendum. Those funds still need to be expedited for good projects waiting to be implemented. The economy is still vulnerable to the violent waves of the global market. The Philippines is still not self-sufficient in terms of economics.” WickedQueen might be interested to know that Senator Santiago, as the chairman of the Senate committee on constitutional ammendments, plans to pass a resolution that will pave the way to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly. When the job is done, the referendum will be held simultaneously with the next national elections on 2001. No additional expenses therefore will be incurred. About the global market, what violent waves has she got to worry about? No nation on earth is economically independent. Economic powers like Japan and the USA would not be what they are today without the "violence" of the global market. On the other hand, poor countries like ours would hardly survive without that violent global market. Look at us. We sell human beings in the global labor market. Can she imagine how we would be without that?
  • NoesisNoesis D' magical dragon =) PExer
    angel.gifIt won't work. The root of the problem cannot be solved in a political setting; I think it would be better if the gov't panel would negotiate with the rebels and make agreements that favors both. Besides, changing the political system is too costly and is not advisable given the present Philippine economic crisis.
  • Orion D.Orion D. ex-MODE-rator PExer
    Hi Noesis...

    Federalism should have been implemented long ago. If what you're referring to is implementing Federalism as a solution to the crisis in the South, then I'll tell you that even I, a supporter of the Federalist movement, would say that it won't be an immediate solution. But truly, this crisis is actually underscoring the importance of this proposed form of government as having true merits due to the cultural factors involved.

    In the long term, the Federalist system would take into consideration not just the need for true Autonomy for Muslim-dominated areas of Mindanao, but rather, the need for cultural (and linguistic) autonomy of other Filipino groups, plus the need to create other economic centers.

    It will be a long process, but it will be worth it.
  • _Mase__Mase_ psykotic PExer
    I've been wondering myself about federalism. But there are many problems. First, you have the Constitution. For the country to shift to federalism, Constituitonal change is needed. According to the majority of the Filipinos, they will absolutely not agree with the amendment of the Constitution.

    It would also take billions of pesos for the government to make institute federalism, not withstanding the votes of the people and restructuring of our country...

    You also wouldn't have on good notice that once we establish federalism, the Islamic State of Mindanao won't attack Metro Manila or other key states. Would these states be armed for protection?

    What about the politicians? You'll surely agree that the majority of them won't welcome fedralism with open arms either. The proposal for federalism is to have eleven states...with about 5 or 6 provinces each. What about the the provinvial governors and their cohorts? The internal reshuffling of politicians will make most lose their jobs.
    Granted, to be a governer of a state would hold tremendous power, but to do that you would have to sway the people of the other provinces for them to vote for you. And that's no easy feat, considering each province has its own "son". Not to mention the spiralling cost of campaigning to TEN other provinces.

    Would federalism be the answer to uplift Mindanao from its crunching poverty? Mindanao has been sorely ignored by the national government. But will having its own government eradicate, or at least lessen their poverty?

    I'm unsure of federalism as of now, but a little more study and research about this would make me feel better.

    For the government to use this as a temporary solution to the Mindanao crisis should not be considered. Erap may have been right when he staunchly revolted against federalism, but then again...

    We're actually doing an article about federalism in the school paper. So it makes for interesting reading, the pros and cons of the case.

    [This message has been edited by _Mase_ (edited 06-24-2000).]
  • xywizxywiz The Red Tiger PExer
    For me, federalism would only foster the "power-hungry" mentatlity of our politicians. To them it's the chance to make them powerful (like landlords) over a province or region.

    I don't think federal government would siut our country.

    A lot of countries have prospered under the presedential form-- and I believ we can too if our leaders would think hard on what the priorities are and stop thinking about who gets the credit.

    A change in political attitude is what we need -- not a change in the form of our government.

  • adlawadlaw gi-atay. PExer
    i think that federalism would be good for the philippines which is an archipelago and multi-cultural.

    it is time for each region to be independent and to think of what would be good for their respective provinces or regions. they would know best, since they live there.

    plus, this would also prompt us to be more mature as a people. more responsibility for our own future would, don't you think so, too?
  • whoboatwhobadwhoboatwhobad I am fully dressed PExer
    di ba yung ginawa ni marcos during martial law days na pinalitan niya ang congress nag assembly?naging prime minister si cesar virata.I think that was a form of federalism...
  • acridmouthacridmouth Member PExer
    I go for federalism.

    With the provinces maintaining partial autonomy, the central government ( which will be in Manila, of course) will not be coerced to deal with the intricate problems within the rural/sub-urban areas, for the local administrations have already been granted sufficient prerogatives to control the region. Therefore, the central government can concentrate better on foreign affairs, currency and defense, areas which have been dismissed nonchalantly due to the widespread of other national crises. I agree with Mr. Orion that the Philippines isn't really a solid and single nation. The motley groups in the country have different tastes, different traditions, different beliefs, and therefore they call for the emergence of such government which will suit to their necessities.

    True, the idea of federalism is such a humonguous change, that one can't help but wonder whether this form of government is truly pragmatic or not. The sudden shift is absolutely overwhelming that for sure, it will stir nationwide hullabaloos. It's not a big problem, though; even US dealt with the primordial problem of the distribution of the power among the central and regional governments, which was eventually solved during the Civil War. The success of modern American federalist system had prodded countries like Russia, Canada, India and Switzerland to institute this federalist systems. It won't hurt if Philippines add to the list. The effusion of multitudinous problems has left us powerless and weak, and maybe, just maybe, federalism is the brilliant solution.

    Say, granted that federalism is already approved, when will it be implemented? :)
  • PercyPercy Banned by Admin PExer
    _Mase_, the people's objection to a constitutional change is a valid objection. However, what they really object to is the extension of terms of elected officials. That was the main objective of Ramos and Erap when they first agitated for a constitutional change. Ramos especially wanted a second term. There is a solution to that fear. Instead of a constitutional convention where the entire basic law has to be rewritten, Congress can convene into a constituent assembly to amend only one thing. And that is the shift from the present Unitary to a Federal system of government. The job can be done in a much shorter period. It is true that given the congressmen's and senators' corrupt political upbringing, the proposal will surely encounter a rough sailing in Congress. If people will show their support, however, the proposal will survive the rough sailing.
    This agitation to switch to the Federal system is not solely to solve the Mindanao problem. The shift will hopefully solve the problems of the entire country including Mindanao. As for the billions of pesos required to implement it, it is far better to spend the billions to switch to the new form than continue to appropriate the billions funding the pork barrels of those congressmen and senators. I agree that this idea of Federalism is like shooting at the moon. But there still remain a few good men and women out there in Congress. Remember how Churchill said it? "Never so many owed so much to so few." Let's not lose hope OK?

    [This message has been edited by Percy (edited 06-26-2000).]
  • baby3nababy3na anak ng tokwa PExer
    Considering the economy, our geography, and the recent calamities that has plagued our country, federalism seems to be a farfetched solution to our crisis. True, it would lessen the implications of the Bangsamoro conflict, but the country per se is not yet ready for such a big change. The provinces that have been wiped out by lahar cannot sustain themselves the same way Manila and Cebu can. It should be taken into consideration that we are not an affluent country and not all provinces can sustain themselves. Maybe this can be a solution if we are financially capable. But when would that time come?
  • acridmouthacridmouth Member PExer
    baby3na: Hi! Albeit the country isn't financially stable ( I don't think it'll ever be - never in a million years :D), this problem isn't actually a barrier to the possible success of federalism. The government isn't asinine enough to forsake the local administrations in places such as Zambales, Pampanga and other regions which have been enormously affected by natural and socio-economical ordeals. These provinces are still under the tutelage of the central government, and thus, they can always use a little help until they can manage to stand on their own.

    Besides, federalism aims to foster economic independence in the provinces. For years, the people have looked down on these rural areas because of their substandard state, and it's time for them to maximize their resources and prove their capacities. Furthermore, federalism calls for the utility of a national taxing power, which might be able to boost the country's funds.
  • EnterpriseEnterprise Member PExer
    I go for Federalism. Though I may just be a Sophomore in HS, I can see the implications a federal system will bring. Kudos to Orion D., kinuha niya ang spirit ng federalsim. Even if it is not an immediate solution to our current crisis, it will help all of the provinces as a whole. Since these provinces will manage their own taxes and state gov't, power will no longer be held in the hands of a few corrupt senators and a lot of corrupt congressmen. In addition, corruption can be pinpointed to its source, sice funds are held by the state. In general, federalism will empower each state to manage its own affairs under the watchful authority of the central gov't.

    Oh, and even if we don't admit it, this will satisfy some of the insurgencies in our country by giving them the identity and authority their people always wanted.

    Federalism may not be perfect, but lets give it a chance.
  • _Mase__Mase_ psykotic PExer
    Billions of pesos that the Philippines does not have? I go for studying federalism further. Make it into a comprehensive report.

    The original 13 colonies of America rebelled against the British primarily because of economic strangling. King George III proclaimed that the American colony could not trade with any other nation than that of the British. Outraged at this preposterous request, the colonies did not heed the stupid proclamation and instead fought for their independence.

    May I add that the 13 colonies were economically and politically well-off.

    How many well-off provinces do we have?

    My mind is still subject to change.
  • KamatayanKamatayan PExer
    Changing form of Government won't help if the rulers are still corrupt and incompetent. I think this will only result in each region having a warlord-type ruler.

    Enterprise said:

    Oh, and even if we don't admit it, this will satisfy some of the insurgencies in our country by giving them the identity and authority their people always wanted

    We've already formed two autonomous regions and yet the insurgents haven't disappeared...

  • PercyPercy Banned by Admin PExer
    We have the billions, _Mase, but they always go to the wrong pockets. Federalism if implemented will solve that. Senatongs and Tongressmen will have no more reason to appropriate funds for their CDF's. Their concern will be solely on National Defense and Foreign Affairs.

    I appreciate your concern to the "provinces that have been wiped out by lahar." But I still see no reason why Central Luzon, my home region, cannot stand by itself. In the first place, only one town, Bacolor in Pampanga, was wiped out. The rest of the region is intact. If given the chance to run our own affairs, I'm sure we can solve this never ending lahar flows. The flows continue because corruption at the national level especially at the DPWH literally allows it. Mawawalan sila ng dilihensiya pag pinatigil nila ang lahar. I mean it literally. I'm sure you are asking yourself where we are going to get the money to fight nature. Acridmouth said it right :"the government isn't asinine enough to forsake the local administrations in places such as Zambales, Pampanga and other regions which have been enormously affected by natural and socio-economical ordeals." Plus, you know, concerned foreign governments offered to help as early as five years ago but the national government through the recommendation of the
    corrupt DPWH rejected them. Believe it or not! Again, Federalism if implemented will solve that.

    [This message has been edited by Percy (edited 06-27-2000).]

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