The 17 mayors of Metro Manila have expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s strong espousal of federalism as a form of government, saying the centralized system of government at present is “defective.”
The mayors who compose the Metro Manila Council (MMC) said in a resolution that “the system of the Philippine government [at presnt]is such that the three great powers of the executive, the legislative and the judiciary are centralized in the National Capital Region [NCR], thereby effectively alienating the other regions of the archipelago [and depriving them of]much-needed government support.”
The MMC is a policy-making body of which the mayors of the 16 cities and one municipality of Metro Manila or the NCR are members.
“After a judicious evaluation of the existing systems of governments around the world vis-a-vis the unique and diverse circumstances, needs and requirements of the country and the Filipino people, it is imperative that a new and more responsive form of government be adopted the soonest,” according to the mayors.
Duterte is strongly pushing for a change in the form of government of the country from the presidential to the federal system.
The President has asserted a number of times that federalism will solve various problems that the country faces, particularly massive poverty and equality.
Steps are now being taken by the majority in Congress to set the motion for a revision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution to make the shift to a federal form of government possible.
MMDA Chairman and General Manager Tomas Orbos, said the 17 mayors are prepared to lead their constituents in this direction but they want to know how exactly they will function in a federal government. NELSON S. BADILLA