Third Speaker Affirmative Side

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On the matter of federalism practicability...


PRACTICABILITY Banner Statement: FEDERALISM: Answer, Advantage and Attainable “Philippines is in its transitional period therefore, there is a need for a change in the Constitution.” 1st Point: FORM A CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY Section 1 Article 17 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution states that: Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by: (1) The Congress , upon a vote of ¾ of all its members; (2)A constitutional convention. Revision is the legal remedy for a change in the Constitution because it is a modification in its entirety and not in a particular provision. It is the rewriting or revamp of the entire instrument. The initial process is though a proposal which can be done in three ways: First, is through the constituent power of the Congress by ¾ votes from the Senate and the House of the Representatives. Second, is through a constitutional convention and the last method is made by people through initiative. We highly recommend a constituent assembly rather than a constitutional convention. It is a body or assembly of representatives composed for the purpose of drafting or adopting the constitution. It is usually set-up for a short period and inexpensive. The transitory provision of our Constitution expressly sanctions the legal remedy for federalism to push through. Countries such as United States of America, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden and New Zealand have been successful in using the federal system of government. 2nd Point: CONGRESS SHOULD PASS THE SENATE RESOLUTIONS Senate Joint Resolution No. 10 proposes to revise 14 articles of the 18 articles of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the addition of 2 new articles. It sought to adopt a federal presidential bicameral form of government in 2008 headed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel. The bill also created eleven States in relation to the demographical and geological locations of the provinces.

The resolution therefore, as basis for adoption of a Federal Government must be a priority that ought to be addressed by Congress. The major reason is the country is in its transitional period wherein the ills of the democratic government are at the process of being cured by our present administration. It is time for the citizens to support and not always blame the government for it’s failures. Now, is the perfect time to recover from the frailties of the past and face a new challenge in shaping the NEW PHILIPPINES.. 3rd Point: SHIFTING TO A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT A shift from a democratic government to a federal government is a crucial process but it is evident that out country needs it. According to Jose Abueva (UP Pol Sci Professor), a transition period is needed to be enable the federal government to prepare, adjust, redistribute powers, functions and tax bases between the federal government and the States. Hence, it is feasible because adequate time is given for preparation. The Philippines being an archipelago, with diverse culture has that characteristic to run a federal government. The reason is the geographical location of the country composing of 7, 107 islands. Each province has distinct culture, ideologies, industry, resources and economy. The shared rule and self-rule concept as previously discussed by the ___ speaker is effective for a STATE to govern itself and with the help of the federal government. Geoffrey Walk (from the Australian Government) stated that Federalism is not an ideology, it is pragmatic and prudential compromise combining shared rule on some matters with self-rule on others. To further prove my point, the country of Malaysia has the same characteristics as ours. This nation runs a federal form of government with 13 states. (PLEASE INSERT GDP OF MALAYSIA V PHILIPPINES). As a conclusion, good governance depends on the political culture, institutions, policies and development strategies, leaders, citizens and the private sector and economy. Therefore, the redistribution of the powers of the government can be attained by giving equal opportunity to all states. Ladies and gentlemen, we, the affirmative side proposes that Federalism is an answer, an advantage and attainable to the current economic, industrial, political and social condition of the Philippines.

PRACTICABILITY The push for federalism, largely as a response to ethnic or regional tensions, is enjoying something of a renaissance, from Solomon Islands to Iraq – though there is little evidence that those espousing it have referred to the literature on failed federalism in the second half on the twentieth century (see, for example Franck 1968; Hazlewood 1967; May 1970; etc). Whether or not the Philippines will be a federal republic remains to be seen. Certainly the CMFP’s proposals that there be a transitional period to develop support for the idea, and that the achievement of statehood be geared to individual states’ capabilities (though likely to prove contentious) are to be commended. In the meantime, if the issues do not get lost in the personalistic politics that has characterized the Philippines for some decades. Indeed the federal system is worth looking into as a more ideal set-up for Mindanao and the Philippines. More importantly, it is one system that may be able to effectively address the current and peculiar situation of Mindanao not only as a victim of neglect but also as a unique island-region that harbor three peoples of diverse backgrounds, customs, culture, traditions, and social systems. More specifically, it is a political option that may help prevent a stalemate that can lead to another Mindanao war. Clearly, what Mindanao needs is unity in diversity—not integration, not assimilation-or at least harmony in diversity. Admittedly, a federal system is friendlier to this idea than the unitary and centralized system that we have. “Federalism is a system of government in which the same territory is controlled by two levels of government. Generally, an overarching national government governs issues that affect the entire country, and smaller subdivisions govern issues of local concern. Both the national government and the smaller political subdivisions have the power to make laws and both have a certain level of autonomy from each other. The United States has a federal system of governance consisting of the national or federal government, and the government of the individual states” (Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute).

Federalism is a proposed system of administration for the Philippines and a revision of the current 1987 constitution. In 2008, Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. proposed Joint Resolution No. 10, which would have created eleven autonomous regions out of the Philippine Republic, establishing eleven centers of finance and development in the archipelago. According to the proponent, “by creating eleven federal states and by converting Metro Manila as a federal administrative region, we immediately establish 12centers of power, finance and development throughout the country.” Its Explanatory Note states the following: That, the Constitution provides for a unitary system of government where the country's development programs are centrally determined, planned, funded and implemented by the national government in Manila; That, the concentration of such enormous powers in Manila has created only one center of finance and development in the country resulting in a highly centralized system of government; That, the highly centralized system of government has brought about a spotty development of the nation where preferential treatment has been given to localities whose officials are friendly with or have easy access to an incumbent administration; That, this lopsided arrangement has spawned a host of problems including massive nationwide poverty to runaway insurgencies and rebellions that feed on the societal inequalities in the nation; Resolution No. 10 proposes to revise of 14 of the 18 Articles of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the addition of two new articles. It sought to adopt a federal presidential bicameral form of government. This proposed bill was backed by 13 Senators. Proposed administrative divisions are eleven States plus one federal administrative region for which Federal Administrative Region of Metro Manila would have been patterned to the US Washington, D.C., and would have been the seat of the Federal government. The States with Capital are NorthernLuzon (Tuguegarao),CentralLuzon (Tarlac City), Southern Tagalog (Trece Martires City), Mimaropa ( Mamburao),Bicol (Legazpi), Eastern Visayas (Catbalogan), Central Visayas (Toledo),Western Visayas (Iloilo City), Northern Mindanao (Cagayan de Oro), SouthernMindanao (Davao City) and Bangsamoro (Cotabato City).

House Concurrent Resolution No. 15 was filed by Rep. Monico O. Puentevella on May7, 2008, which supported Senate Resolution No. 10 backed by 16 senators. Congressman Prospero Nograles, a self-proclaimed advocate of federalism, on May 1, 2008, announced: "This federal system of government is close to my heart as a Mindanaoan leader and I'm sure most of the leaders in Mindanao will agree that we have long clamored for it. Senate Resolution 10 is a pleasant surprise because the Senate has a long history of opposing any move to amend the Constitution." The joint Senate resolution called for the creation of 14 federal states in the country, by convening of Congress “into a constituent assembly for the purpose of revising the Constitution to establish a federal system of government.” President Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo supported Senate Joint Resolution No. 10. Among her reasons are: 1. to bring about the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity; 2. to give opportunity to the whole country in availing the reform effects of federalism; 3. to give local officials more authority in order to perform better. Leftists and militants criticized the President’s support to be a mere ploy for her term extension to perpetuate in power as well as the removal of the protectionist provisions in the 1987 Philippine Constitution. In 2008,former President Fidel Ramos said “the moves to amend the Constitution and change to a federal form of government must come only after 2010 to dispel speculations that President Arroyo is bent on staying in power beyond her term”. In 2014, the shift to a federal form of government in the Philippines is being pushed by Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is aspiring to run for President in 2016. We cannot deny the good things that federalism can offer and only few political analysts have questioned the disadvantages of the Federalism. We stand firm to push this proposal.

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