ConCom member: PH can afford shift to Federal gov't

ConCom member: PH can afford shift to Federal gov't

“Federalism is an investment for our children’s future.”

This was the main message that was meant to be given to the audience when Professor Julio C. Teehankee, a member of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to review the 1987 Constitution was the guest speaker in  the third forum on federalism that was held in Makati.

He said that the country can afford to shoulder the financial burden that it would entail in the desire to shift to a federal form of government.

(photo credit to owner)

The political scientist did not hide the fact that for every investment has a cost and in tha case of the country’s shift in governance structure, it will run into billions of pesos.

“We do not deny this but I would like to assure everyone that the Philippines can afford the cost of a federal shift. What is PHP20 billion, or even PHP50 billion, in additional spending for federalism compared to the PHP600 billion unutilized funds the government had to return to the national treasury?” he said.

Teehankee  explains that the government cannot afford “is the cost of frustratingly slow social and economic development in the regions.”

He further explains that “federalism will not be a waste of money” since “it fixes inefficiencies of a system long-riddled by corruption and a ladderized bureaucracy impeding the regions from reaching their full potential.”

When he was asked about the concerns of the country’s economic managers with respect to the provisions on allocations for expenditures under the federal draft.

He said that the ConCom members welcome the comments from the economists.

“We welcome a discussion on the draft so that it is clear and unambiguous. We do not want the revenue assignment and the expenditure assignment to be misunderstood, as what happened in the recent case involving the Internal Revenue Allotment (of local government units),” he said.

“They are welcome feedback for the further improvement of our draft. After all, the product of our six months of labor is a draft and a draft can be revised,” he said.

“We therefore encourage the economic managers to help us improve the draft. In the same way we call on our senators, congressman and all elected officials to keep the discussions going because this push of the President will affect the entire nation of the Philippines,” he said.

“Improvement is change. If we want to improve, then we need to change. Nothing will happen if you simply allow fear to trap us in a cycle that keeps allowing the few, who are rich and privileged, to take advantage of the poor,” Teehankee added.


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Report from PNA

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