September 25, 2021
“To shift to a Federal form of government, we must recognize regional and area groupings that are capable of self-governance and sustainability particularly in revenues and the delivery of basic services,” former Defense Secretary Gilbert (GIBO) Teodoro said.
“Federalism is the ultimate recognition of the capabilities of a functional and optimal grouping in our archipelago,” the former Tarlac congressman said. “This must not just be legislated or forced.
Teodoro also said that the political capital must be equidistant to all the regions for an effective governance.
“Manila cannot be the political and governance center of the whole country,” Teodoro said. “The Philippines is one of the most disparate countries in the world with different conditions. We must disperse the powers to recognize the inherent differences and causes between the areas.”
To make Federalism work in the Philippines, the following must be considered:
- Federalism must be recognized as the end result of a process,
- The Philippines has disparate areas with different conditions,
- The areas have to be grouped according to functional optimization of services and governance, among others,
- The Philippines must be recognized as one entity in consideration of our international status in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) special arbitral tribunal ruling of July 2016, and
- There is sustainability. Legislation can supplement existing conditions to enable areas to develop the capability to sustain themselves.