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Greeting and salutations first let me introduce myself, I am Nicko L.

De Leon, I come to you today as a


representative of association of political scientist of the Philippines, the largest independent think tank
in the Phil. We come to you as passionate citizens wanting the best for the Phil.

We as a group have upon the culmination of our great effort and giving the full extent of our
abilities have, we have come to the conclusion that the phil. Is not ready for federalism. Coming from
political, geo-political and social science approach, the bigger picture, we come to these points.

 In theory, federalism aims for unity by recognizing diversity, redistributes fiscal and
legislative powers to the peripheries, and encourages local government units to become
captains of their own ships

Social Weather Stations survey (March 23-27), only 14 percent of Filipinos “strongly agree” with
pushing for a federal form of government. As many as 75 percent of Filipinos, or 3 out of 4, are not
even aware of the mechanics and implications of it

The latest SWS survey (June 29,18) found 25% of adult Filipinos previously aware that
federalism implies the creation of new local governments above the provincial government but
below the national government,.

An increase 23% people are now more agreeing, from 14 to 37 percent, however only 25% of these were
aware of the implications, while 75% learned about it only during the survey

Pulse Asia survey (March 23-28), almost 7 out of 10 Filipinos oppose a shift to a federal
government. Clearly, there is no public clamor for it, only widespread and profound public confusion
as well as skepticism.

A shift to a federal system of government is rejected by most Filipinos (62%); public opinion on this matter remains
constant over the past quarter

A whopping 69%, Little awareness of the proposed federal system of government is admitted by most
Filipinos, going into this gungho is undesirable to say the least

Almost seven (7) out of 10 Filipinos (69%) have at best a low level of knowledge about the federal
system of government that is being proposed by charter change advocates.

Even in Mindanao, only bare majority of Mindanawons (51%)

It is clear we ain’t well informed enough to decide in unity for it, sovereignty reigns in the people.
2nd point
 federalism we have yet to demonstrate is our preparedness for Charter change. It’s one thing to
give more autonomy to local governments; it’s entirely another thing to ensure they can
stand on their own.

we know that only few regions, mostly in the industrialized heartland of Luzon, are capable of
raising enough taxes on their own. A shift to federalism means that the more prosperous regions
will be able to further concentrate on their own development, thus making themselves even more
competitive and attractive to capital and labor

Yet, even in a prosperous nation like America, with two centuries of federalist experience, we are yet to
see poorer Southern and Midwestern states catching up with California and New York. America still
remains as one of the most unequal nations on earth

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(1) Even with the current unitary government in the Philippines, different regions experience discrepancies in their
development. CARAGA may be endowed with resources but it remains as one of the poorest regions in the country. How
can CARAGA and other poor regions be at par with the already established and progressive regions in the country? Federalism
is not an immediate solution to cure the defects of the existing LGU problems. SEE PSA FILE 1/3

. Without an effective mechanism for revenue sharing across states whereby richer states or
units subsidize poorer ones, federalism could increase inequality among subnational units

 Ineffective current LGUs (Incompetent LGU officials???)


- Local Government Code of 1991 – autonomy of LGUs but still ineffective???
- Puno draft did not mention about culling political dynasties; still vague about this proposed autonomy of
regions or for this so-called federal states

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3nd point and 4th.

 FEDERALISM AROUND THE WORLD, lets face it PHIL is a third country, so lets de away
with comparison to SWISS and GERMAN, they have entirely different circumstances on there
own.
 what many proponents of federalism tend to overlook is that what they’re advocating for is, per
Aristotle’s distinction, a change in “form” of government, not in the “substance” of our
political system.

Now with 3rd world countries: which range from Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia to Nigeria, Pakistan,
Venezuela, and Brazil,

First, persistently high levels of inequality within and among their federal states, not to mention extreme poverty and
hunger even among rapidly developing countries such as India, Brazil and Nigeria, even in the good ol USA, LAND
OF THE FREE, THE STALWART OF THE AMERICAN DREAM, lets compare according to a USA CENSUS, US
census bureau 2016 state Maryland, dc (richest) 4 million pisos to missisipi 2 million piso . 1/2

 Poverty level
 Unemployment rate
 Median income

Venezuela= 1 mil inflation, 2 centuries of federalism

Many of these countries have had federalism for decades, but it’s far from clear whether that has brought about

any significant and directly positive effect on national economic development. Federalism is obviously not the root of

all their problems, but it’s unclear whether it has helped solve their economic problems either.

ethnic nationalism and separatist sentiments (NPA) among their major ethnic groups, particularly vis-à-vis the

French-speaking populations, which are problems in Canada and Belgium. Which would lead a split and would turn

into exclusive institutions rather than inclusive ones.

(2) In connection with these differences in the accumulation of revenue, it would also create hostility
among progressive regions and dependent regions if ever federalism would be realized in the country.
There is already existing division among regions because of some reasons like regional biases and other
colonial remnants of the past. Such system would further widen the gap since national identity has
been a problem since time immemorial in the country. Federalism is not an immediate solution
especially that the primordial question of identity has not yet established definitely

, if a country has exclusive-extractive institutions, it is bound to fail, since a change to a federal form of government is

just that, merely a change of form, these exclusivity will only grow even stronger with this division we call federated

states.

.And to quote my college Mr. Heydarian. “So long as the Philippine state remains weak, with oligarchs controlling our
political office and the economy, whatever form of government we adopt is bound to fail. That’s why any Charter
Change should come along with a more comprehensive reform of our whole institutions, not just form of government.”

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In defense:

Rivalry among states is by and large idea of as an advantage of decentralization and welfare-expanding
can likewise have a drawback

Nearby governments have less motivation to start such macroeconomic strategy changes, as they are
more outlandish than national governments to be considered responsible for a nation's macroeconomic
shakiness. Subnational governments may likewise request broad endowments in return for proceeded
with help for the alliance, making it hard to decrease general government measure.

Undoubtedly, the objective of expanded neighborhood independence appears to be alluring from


numerous points of view. Be that as it may, this can be to a great degree troublesome in poor nations
with frail or degenerate neighborhood government establishments and abnormal amounts of
imbalance

a. Lack of unity
 There are the long festering local communist rebellion and Muslim separatist movement.
 Note also the country’s demographic condition. There are 37 major ethnic groups and hundreds of sub-
groups. That by itself means diversity, but it could also imply divisiveness of the population inasmuch as
some dominant groups oppose adoption of a common national language or even agitate for independence.
b. Lack of unifying symbols
 Common Language
We need to have one which we can speak and write, and by which we can connect “our inner selves to the
realities of community life.”
 Native national name
“Philippines” or “Filipinas” should be replaced for it symbolizes nothing but the country’s colonial
experience and it can hardly help in the making of our identity
c. The archipelagic nature of the country
d. Colonial policies
Western ideals and virtues were instilled even as Filipino shortcomings and inferiority were rubbed in.

Source for a-d: NDCP’s National Identity As An Imperative To Building The National Community

 Compare the Tagalogs in the North and Bisayas in the South especially their attitude with one another
 ARMM’s plea to be truly autonomous, to be a separate nation
 Hostilities, insurgencies in the Philippines (NPA/MILF)
- Different groups have different interests.
- How does this kind of government address these decades of hostilities?
- Puno draft - misrepresentation again??? Is there any consultation made from various sectors in the
country?

(3) It is not unknown that the country has still millions of debt to pay. Federalism is not a practical solution as of the
moment given to the poverty rates and economic indicators.

- World bank debt status


- Current regional domestic product, and poverty incidence by region