BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan wants that the election of senators in a federal form of government once the present administration will not succeed in creating a unicameral form should be done by region to allow the government’s resources to be distributed to the countryside and achieve the goal of inclusive growth.
The local chief executive pointed out under the present situation where senators are elected at large, communities with smaller population are deprived of access to government resources to spur economic activities in their places because the senators usually put their projects in heavily populated cities and provinces to guarantee their stay in power with more votes from the said areas.
He opined senators will surely oppose the move to abolish the Senate in the shift to federal form of government because they will no longer have their place in politics, except to go to the federal states and aspire for whatever available position where they will encounter stiff opposition from local officials, also aspiring for similar positions.
If the upper chamber of Congress will be retained in the proposed federal form of government, Domogan underscored the inclusion of a provision that will state that the election of senators should be done by region to allow the equitable distribution of the country’s meagre resources that will eventually contribute to the development of remote communities which had been deprived of access to development because of the serious negative impact of the presidential bicameral form of government.
To date, he emphasized urban areas with large population are the ones being pampered with numerous development projects even if their places are already developed because senators infuse their funding requirements to the projects in said places because of the need to maintain their votes in the areas for their future political ambitions.
According to him, senators could not be blamed if they continue to provide funds to over developed and populated areas because of the reason of political survival but its negative effect is the deprivation of rural areas from their desired development thrust to help improve the state of infrastructure and socio-economic situation in the far flung areas of the country.
He said even if local officials of small local governments lobby for the allocation of funds for their priority projects for the benefit of their constituents, they end up empty handed most of the time because senators claim that their development funds are already used up when in fact, the funds were already committed to vote-rich areas.
He called on local government officials to support the proposed election of senators by region to make sure that the government’s resources will be equitably shared by developed and less developed communities in the country and for smaller communities to be guaranteed increased development opportunities and eventually achieve the overall gaol of inclusive growth.
Domogan is also supportive of the national government’s quest for the shift to federal form to ensure that there will be autonomy in the distribution and allocation of the country’s available resources to uplift the living condition of the people in the countryside.
By Dexter A. See