Federalism will allow the regions to progress – ConCom


“The proposed draft Federal Constitution encourages the national government to go on a diet and the regions to go on a muscle-building regimen,” this is the contention of ConCom Member Dr. Julio Tehankee during the Conference on Comparative Practices in Fiscal Federalism organized by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Forum of Federations today in Makati City.

He said that the Bayanihan Constitution drafted by the ConCom, embodies the principles of “a strong Federal Republic to keep the country as one; economically empowered and sustainable federated regions; and a fiscal policy that shall be exclusive to the Federal government, with certain taxation powers given to the regions, and there shall be equitable revenue sharing.”

Teehankee explained that fiscal administration in the draft Constitution embodies the overriding principle of fiscal prudence, reasonable sharing of revenues between the Federal Government and Federated Regions, prioritization of essential Federal Expenditures and the Right Sizing of the budget with the federal government trimming the bureaucratic fat and capacitating the federated regions.

He also emphasized that since the Bayanihan Constitution is a draft Constitution, everyone, especially the legislators and economic managers are encouraged to improve it. “The discussions and debates should be kept going and comments are very welcome. This is an opportunity for everyone to be involved in the President’s campaign for Constitutional reform,” he said.

For his part, DILG Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that the conference organized by the DILG is part of the continuing dialogue they are doing together with other government agencies. “We invited the NEDA, DOF, and DBM, among others, in this conference; and we are pleased that they are actively participating in crafting a roadmap towards a federal system,”he said.

He agreed with the statement of Teehankee that federalism will flow more funds to the region. “Federalism is all about equitable sharing of resources and we are hopeful that once we transition to a federal system, we will be able to develop the local economy of the regions leading to national progress.” —DILGCO