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A COMPARATIVE STUDY ON LOCAL AUTONOMY: FEDERAL STATES AND

LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS

Abstract
The study presents an overview of the Philippine Local Autonomy and discusses issues
concerning the comparative trends of Federal States and Local Government Units in relation to
the autonomy given by the State. The study begins with the presentation of the current
framework of Local Government Unit (LGU) and compares it with the concept of Federal States.
main discussion focuses on the extent of the local governments control over its local
fiscal administration specifically the complexity and transparency of its applicability compared
to countries with federal states. The authors also cited the current extent of the LGUs equity and
accountability as well as that of the federal states.
Thesis Outline
Twenty five years of local autonomy had passed and yet its implementation is but
opportune to assess how this legislation contributed to achieving the stability of equity and
accountability of the local government. It has become imperious to describe the development and
ingenuities of the present local government assessing its complexity and transparency.
Local autonomy is the exercise of certain basic powers, i.e. police power, power of
eminent domain, and taxing power, by local government units so as to best serve the interest and
promote the general wellbeing of their inhabitants. The principle of local autonomy under the
1987 Constitution simply means decentralization. It does not make the local government
sovereign within the state or an imperium in iperio.
Recent proposals from the different sectors of society have been tackled justifying the
issue on political system transformation from the present unitary structure to a federal
government. With this, the local autonomy from LGUs will be handed over to federal states. The
idea of federal states introduces the process of fiscal decentralization which aims to improve

macroeconomic governance than the present centralized fiscal system ensuring transparency and
proper accountability.
The idea of decentralization is not really new in the current local autonomy; in fact, the
present local government states that the main purpose of local autonomy is decentralization.
LGUs are then expected to perform their designated functions to deliver quality governance,
provide better public service, and encourage public's participation for country's intensive
development. But a clearer cut of decentralization is needed allowing LGUs to be self-reliant
improving their equity and divesting its complexity.
In a federal state system, a clearer decentralization will take place where fiscal
administration will be properly allocated among state leaders. In general, the states will be
primarily responsible for the economic, social and cultural developments of their areas
establishing a clearer evidence of effectivity. The highly decentralized structures and process of
the federation will challenge, empower and energize the people and their state and local
governments; encourage creativity, initiative, and innovation, enhance the accountability of
government leaders and employees, spur inter-state competition, and foster state and local selfreliance.

Research Methodology
This study entitled "A Comparative Study on Local Autonomy: Federal States and Local
Government Units " is a qualitative research that attempts to gather existing information and data
regarding the extent of local fiscal administration between the present local government unit and
that of a federal state. This study desires to illustrate the present state of local autonomy in
relation to its transparency and complexity as well as its equity and accountability.
The research utilized both descriptive and exploratory research methods in the conduct of
the study. Descriptive research is a method used to obtain information relating to the current
status of an issue or phenomenon to describe "what exists" within the range of the situation. The
most common types of descriptive research tools are surveys, interviews and observation.
Exploratory research, on the other hand, is often used in order to yield information to explain

problems which are not yet clearly defined. It allowed the researchers to be familiar with the
concepts of the problem under the study to facilitate the development of insights.
The present study was an exploratory attempt since it tried to gather information on the
proposed concept of federal political system of the government. The researchers made use of
existing literature in order to verify their observations and come up with preliminary ideas
regarding the research problem.

Bibliography
Books
De Leon, H. (2005). Textbook on the Philippine Constitution. Manila, Philippines: Rex
Bookstore.

Works Cited
Abueva, Jose (2002). Towards a Federal Republic of the Philippines with a Parliamentary
Government: A Reader. Manila: Kalayaan College.
Alinio, B. F. (2008). Philippine Local Government Officials Perceptions of Decentralization and
Its

Effects on Local Governments' Administrative Capabilities. Washington, D.C.:

The George Washington University.


Pimentel, Aquilino, Jr. (2002). Why Adopt the Federal System of Government?
Available: http://www.nenepimentel.org/speeches/. Last accessed 11 May 2012.
Websource
Federalism: What Filipinos need to know. (2016). Retrieved July 30, 2016, from
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/05/31/1588742/federalism-what-filipinos-needknow

Senate of the Philippines 17th Congress. (2008). Pimentel Files Resolution on Federal System.
Received from https://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2008/0423_pimentel1.asp
Dorotan, Eddie. Decentralization in the Philippines. Retrieved July 30, 2016, from
https://wpqr4.adb.org/lotusquickr/copmfdr/PageLibrary482571AE005630C2.nsf/0/7E0AEAB811AEB05348257BA30024A26
5/$file/Session%202b_PHILIPPINES,%20Eddie%20Dorotan.pdf
Bonoan, M. B. (2010, September). The Asia Foundation. Two Decades of Journey to Local
Autonomy in the Philippines. Retrieved from
http://asiafoundation.org/2010/09/01/twothe-philippines/

decades-of-journey-to-local-autonomy-in-