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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Federalism and Mindanao

Federalism is a form of government that ensures the division of power between national and local governing units. Compared to unitary form of government where most of the decisions come from the one central body, Federalism could allow local governing units to legislate laws concerning peace and order, taxation, marriage, education and health, infrastructure, and a whole lot more for as long as stated in the constitution. This coupled with the power to execute them within their areas of responsibility makes local governing units highly accountable for the growth and development of their constituencies.

Considering the above view, Federalism is the most appropriate form of government for the Philippines. Allow me to support my claim by discussing its advantages in relation to the Philippine setting.
NAIA Express Way

The Philippines is an archipelago of more than seven thousand islands inhabited by a number of ethnolinguistic nations; each has its own beliefs and traditions. For a government to run such a vast territory divided by seas and cultural differences has been proven, time and again,to be futile. Federalism is expected to resolve this by bringing the governing body as close to the problem as possible.

In terms of legislation, the current house of representatives has this authority. However, legislation passed are more focused on issues of national concern. I am not saying this is wrong but this setup results to local issues being set aside as if those weren't important at all. Federalism is expected to address this by giving the local governing bodies the power to legislate laws pertaining to issues that concern their constituency alone while the national government retains its authority to legislate laws to address issues of national level. This will ensure that laws passed will serve its purpose.

Another very controversial subject when talking about Federalism is taxation. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte himself made mention of this during the presidential debate that was hosted by GMA Network. He said that out of all the millions and millions of taxes collected from Mindanao, only a small percentage comes back to Mindanao to finance its development projects. Most of the infrastructure projects are concentrated in Luzon. 

 Mindanao's roads. (Photo by Allan Barredo )
Mindanao and the Visayas region have contributed so much to the economy of the Philippines but what have we got? Nothing but humiliation because people from Imperialist Manila are looking down at us. You all need to understand that Metro Manila is what it is now because of our people's sweat! Federalism, is expected to address this by giving the local authority enough power to come up with local taxation laws. redistribution, and spending policies. This will make sure that each state or local governing body gets the most out of its taxes.

Federalism is the key for us Mindanaoans to free ourselves from the grip of Imperialist Manila. It is about time that we stand up and fight for what is rightfully ours and for the future of our children.

Note: Views expressed in this blog are mine alone. It may or may not necessarily represent your view of Federalism and how it is expected to resolve our current issues in Mindanao. Please feel free to provide your own views.

Photos being used in this blog are not mine. If you are the owner of any of the photos being used, please feel free to comment so proper credit will be given to you.