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Federalism

CONS:

It is a complicated mode of governance that is slow to respond to change and challenges.

It is inherently given to inequality and uneven development across jurisdictions, prone to wasteful
duplication of functions and services, rife with recalcitrant veto points, cumbersome in implementing
policy, and subject to decision-making paralysis.

It will entail another tier of government financial costs. It would require additional appropriations for
the establishment of state governments, courts, and legislatures.

It may strengthen the stranglehold of political clans in the regions and perpetuate political dynasties.

It may leave behind the poorer regions. This will cause greater migration to richer regions thus cause
uneven development.

DISADVANTAGES. Ironically, it was the same political circumstance-the existence

of hundreds, if not thousands of barangays, or disunited political units- that became the

basis of the opinion that the present Philippine State is weak,. The existence of forces such

as those represented by the sultanates, the datus, and the chieftains of the highlanders either

in the Cordillera or those in Mindanao, etc., that tend to pull people's support away from

the Manila government is likewise cited as supportive of the view. The argument goes

that if the State is weak, then why weaken it further by proposing a federal setup?

A second usual argument that seems to negate the move toward federalism has to

do with the monarchial system under Spain. The Governor-General, who was on top of
the government under Spain during colonial times, represented a strong central

government in the Philippines, which in the minds of many, had held the country together

for centuries. Then, they ask: "why alter such an appropriate system now"?

Lastly, critics of a federal setup cite the fact that the various provinces are unevenly

endowed with human and natural resources. If one province with relatively small annual

revenues becomes self-supporting under a federal structure, these revenues in absolute

terms will remain small, compared to big and relatively developed provinces,

notwithstanding the percentage of retained revenues by the province. Thus, there will

be uneven development.

Possibly divisive. Healthy competition among states can become alienating creating rivalries and
promoting the regionalism that some say already challenges the sense of unity in the country. It could
enflame hostilities between ethnic groups in the country like Tagalogs, Cebuanos, Bicolanos, Ilocanos,
Tausugs, and Zamboangueos.

Uneven development among states. Some states may not be as ready for autonomy as others. Some
states may not be as rich in natural resources or skilled labor as others. States with good leaders will
progress faster while states with ineffective ones will degrade more than ever because national
government will not be there to balance them out.

Confusing overlaps in jurisdiction. Where does the responsibility of state governments end and
where does the responsibility of the national government begin? Unless these are very clearly stated in the
amended Constitution, ambiguities may arise, leading to conflict and confusion. For instance, in times of
disaster, what is the division of responsibilities between state and national governments?

May not satisfy separatists in Mindanao. Separatists are calling for their own country, not just a
state that still belongs to a larger federal Philippines. Federalism may not be enough for them. After all,
the conflict continues despite the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
For me, federalism would only foster the "power-hungry" mentality of our politicians. To them it's the
chance to make them powerful (like landlords) over a province or region.

I don't think federal government would suit our country.

A lot of countries have prospered under the presidential form-- and I believe we can too if our leaders
would think hard on what the priorities are and stop thinking about who gets the credit.

A change in political attitude is what we need -- not a change in the form of our government.