Federalism’s success lies in hands of voters, ConCom member says

The Consultative Committee (ConCom) of the proposed charter change puts the onus on the voters to carefully select their leaders under a federalism setup.

“Where is the challenge? The challenge is on us to make sure that the right people will run the government,” said Antonio Arellano, a member of the Constitution Consultative Committee during the Federalism Roadshow in the city.

He said the astute selection of leaders is the solution for the poorer regions to catch up with the more developed ones.
“It’s about time our people should start selecting the right guys to run our government because this is our government. Why should we elect the wrong guys to run our government, to make use of our resources and money for whatever purpose? It should be for the purpose of the promoting our interest and our own good,” Arellano emphasized.

Arellano also slammed speculations that the installation of former president Gloria Arroyo as the house speaker will pave the way for her to become the prime minister. For one, there is no certainty that the Senate will agree to have a constituent assembly.

He also mentioned that nothing in the draft constitution stipulates the position for a prime minister. Arroyo has expressed support on the draft, which President Duterte accepted, to create a presidential federal form of government instead of a federal parliamentary government.

“Who ever said that is trying to destroy the speaker, the president. They must be having their own agenda,” Arellano said.
He also said that federalism aims to lift the poorer regions of the country.
“The total resources of the government will be divided 50-50. The 50% of total national revenue will be divided among the 18 regions,” Arellano added.

In a federal government, the poorest region will receive the same region as the NCR other than the revenues they will be earning in the region in the form of the internal revenue allotment.

Arellano also added that the overlapping of powers will not happen as the Constitution will define the powers between the President and the governors. He said those who claim that federalism will make the president a dictator “doesn’t understand what he is talking about or is telling a lie.”

The federalism roadshow has been conducted in Dumaguete, Baguio, Legazpi City, Cebu and now on its fifth leg in Davao City.

Part of the roadshow is a town hall meeting attended by more than 250 participants from various sectors including formal and informal labor, farmers, women, indigenous people, business, fisherfolk, and local government officials.

Governors Douglas Cagas (Davao Del Sur), Anthony Del Rosario (Davao Del Norte), Nelson Dayanghirang (Davao Oriental), and Jayvee Tyron Uy (Compostela Valley Province) were also present in the town hall meeting. A multi-sectoral federalism rally was also held at Rizal Park yesterday afternoon.

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