BAGUIO CITY – A former mayor and now department undersecretary believes federalism could decentralize powers from the national government, push regional development and eliminate the long-standing inequalities between the regions.
“In my years of service as a mayor, I have always shared the same sentiments of most of my fellow executives of the local government units (LGUs). I have always longed for the national government to look beyond the gates of Imperial Manila and spread its arms throughout the country especially in far-flung areas.”
Department of Tourism Undersecretary Marco M. Bautista said in his message during the regional federalism convention at the University of Baguio Gymnasium on June 26 led by members of the Constitutional Committee.
Bautista, former mayor of San Juan, Abra, felt the difficulty of dealing with Central Government especially in terms of seeking fund support for projects that are needed to address basic needs of local communities.
On top of this, Bautista also stressed the limitations of the LGUs to initiate programs and projects that push community development due to the inequitable sharing of government resources in relation to the LGUs’ share in the revenues generated such as the internal Revenue Allotment.
Because of these experiences, Bautista realized the need for Federalism as he expressed belief that this would be a “means toward inclusivity, sustainability and greater development for places that seemed to have been overlooked by our national government.”
He further explained that “the shift in the system of governance could help boost regional development and eliminate the long-standing inequalities between the regions.”
Bautista together with the participants in the convention signed statement of support to Federalism.
By: PIA Abra