Even with the fervid support of President Rodrigo Duterte, the shift from a presidential form of government to a presidential federal system will not happen anytime soon.
This is because changing the form of government is an arduous process and will take a long time, according to Rep. Karlo Nograles of Davao City, a nephew and ally of the President.
Speaker Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte had filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 which calls for the convening of a Constitutional Convention (ConCon) to allow the shift to federalism wherein regions will be self-governing under a federal or central government.
But Nograles said changing the form of government will undergo several lengthy processes.
“The groundwork for Charter change should start early because it would require a lot of studies and debates. It may sound very simple, but changing a system of government by dividing our regions into federal states and creating new administrative positions is an arduous task,” he explained.
Nograles said the move to change the system will create political divisions, particularly when they start debating contentious issues such as the proposed federal states, the method on how the administrators will get into office and the coverage of the amendments that could include provisions on national economy, patrimony, national security and term limits.
There are 42,000 barangays and 1,490 municipalities across the country.
“We should expect intense debates on these issues,” Nograles said.
Alvarez said a federal system will build a framework of peace and “will promote political security in Mindanao.”
The House leader added that under a federal system of government, the political, economic, social and cultural development will be hasted.
During the Presidential campaign, Duterte’s rival and Liberal Party standard bearer
Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd warned that federalism will mean more taxes to pay for Filipinos because the regions will be virtually under two braches of government.
“Federalism is another layer of taxes. Federal states like the US, Malaysia, have federal income tax and state income tax. All federal systems do,” Roxas said.
“There will be tax dues at the national level and the local level,” he added.