DAVAO CITY — A group of advocates for federalism proposed to have five federal states or regions in the country.
In their proposal titled, “A Bird’s Eye-View of the Proposed Federal System in the Philippines,” the Kilos Pederalismo sa Pagbabago said should federalism pushes through, the country can be divided into five federal states or regions, namely: North Luzon with 22 provinces, National Capital Region, South Luzon with 19 provinces, Visayas with 18 provinces, and Mindanao with 26 provinces.
Long time Federalism advocate and KPP member, Architect Florencio Gavino III said the proposed five regions was based on the three criteria set by former University of the Philippines President Dr. Jose Abueva, but with the addition of one, which stipulates, “No abolition of existing local government units and fragmentation of the nation.”
Abueva’s criteria originally consisted only of: some common ethnic, linguistic and cultural features; geographic contiguity or proximity, and economic potential and viability of the proposed regional government or state.
Abueva served as chairman of the the Consultative Commission that was ordered formed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2005 to study the necessary changes to the 1987 Constitution.
The group suggested to look at the upgraded Bangsamoro Basic Law draft and the Constitutions of Spain, Belgium, and Pakistan for the model from which the Philippines’ own version of federalism would be created.
“It’s a work in progress. No existing model is a copy that we could just copy and paste. It has to apply to our culture, our idiosyncrasies even. Our experience. And we have to look back at history,” said former city councilor and KPP member Atty. Aris Albay.
The members of the KPP said that they are hopeful that the shift to Federalism will push through with the support of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Gavino likened the shift to a federal form of government to a “peaceful revolution” especially by those from the countrysides. He claimed this would give the people a chance to achieve self determination.
“We must have the freedom to plot our own destiny. Hindi yung taga Manila ang mag-plot ng destiny natin sa Mindanao” (We must have the freedom to plot our own destiny. Those living in Manila should not be plotting our destiny here in Mindanao),” Gavino said. (davaotoday.com)