BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants the public to carefully study the proposal of the present administration to shift the current presidential form to a federal form, saying that Filipinos need much more time to mature before federal states is set up all over the country.
The local chief executive underscored there will be a long period of transition from the present form to a federal form of government as the government needs to address several pressing issues before it can establish the federal government.
He said one of the pressing issues advocates of federalism must address is the treatment of small provinces within a federal state. The federal constitution must include an equalizing provision to prevent small local governments from being discriminated in their share of the revenues and taxes of the state.
Because of the expected abolition of government agencies in the national set up, Domogan said a mechanism must be instituted to address the mass layoff of State workers, the payment of their benefits or their re-employment.
He mentioned other problems that must be addressed like the configuration of the federal states, the country’s existing debt and how it will be equitably shared, thus, the ability of the states to generate resources and apportion the same to pay the outstanding debt.
He raised concern on how federalism will divide the country into federal states as the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao want to be treated as independent states because of their unique culture and traditions among other justifiable reasons, particularly their distinct terrain, which has deprived the regions of their adequate share from the resources of the government.
Domogan emphasized the peculiar terrain of the Cordillera deprives it to a greater share from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) because the applicable formula depends on the land area and population, thus, the bigger land area and population, the local government will surely get a bigger share of the country’s limited resources.
Aside from having an equalizing provision on the distribution of resources, Domogan proposed a unitary form of government with a two-party system so that politicians will focus on party platforms instead of personalities which is happening in the multi-party system.
In case the bicameral form will be adopted, Domogan proposed senators should be elected by region so that their allocations will be exclusively used in the regions where they come from to guarantee equitable chances of development instead of other regions being left out in the quest for development funds.
By Dexter A. see