DILG Sec. Año : Federalism remains admin’s priority

DILG Sec. Año : Federalism remains admin’s priority

Some sectors of the society was happy when President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivered his 4th  State of the Nation (SONA) there was no mention of Federalism of charter change.
That assumption is far from the truth, in a press briefing a day after the delivery of the 4th SONA, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said the DILG, the lead agency of the Interagency Task Force on Federalism (IATF), assured the public federalist shift remains a "solution" for the country to progress.

According to DILG Sec. Añothe President still considers Federalism a priority even as the planned shift from the unitary to federal form of government was not mentioned in his SONA.
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año
(photo credit to owner)

"Though the President did not mention it yesterday, in one of his (Duterte) talks in Mindanao, he mentioned he is still for federalism. Ultimately, this is the solution for our country," he told reporters
"The question is when are we ready? So, we will continue this because we have an Inter-Agency Task Force for Federalism and Constitutional Reforms," he added.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles also assured the public that funds allocated for the administration's federalism campaign will not be spent to futile undertakings as he remains hopeful that federalism still have a chance under the 18th Congress.

"I think it will also be one of the topics to be discussed in the committee on Constitutional amendments both in the House of Representatives including in the Senate," Nograles said.
"I will not be surprised if, under the leadership of (House) Speaker (Alan Peter) Cayetano, it will push through in the House of Representatives and hopefully at the Senate,” he added.
But the DILG Secretary is honest to admit that if the chance of federalism is dim in the 18th congress, the government will just shift focus on changing certain provisions in the 1987 Constitution instead.

"If the federalism will not prosper, then at least [we do] constitutional reforms. We all know that our Constitution has a lot of lapses, we have to accept that many of our problems are also because of these lapses in the Constitution," he said.
"We should open our eyes that there are things that needed to be amended," Año added.

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Report from  PNA

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