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Federalism is a principle of government that defines the relationship between the central government at
the national level and its constituent units at the regional, state, or local levels. Under this principle of
government, power and authority is allocated between the national and local government units, such
that each is a delegated sphere of power and authority only it can exercise, while other power must be

A good example would be the way the constitution is amended. Congress presents the idea and the state
ratifies it. Congress can’t by itself amend the constitution. The best country for this type of government
is the U.S. an example of the federal structure is the labor union organization of the American Federation
of Labor, in which independent local unions band together into a national organization but exercise
considerable autonomy regarding their operations and policies. These organizations depend upon the
existence of autonomous sub-units as the basis for their national organization. The central government
in each case must contend and bargain with the peripheral subunits about the implementation of
national policies instead of imposing them by universal mandate.



As a Protection Against Tyranny – One of the most important points of federalism in dividing the power
between the national government and state governments, and spreading the national government’s
power among three branches that serve as a check and balance on each other, is that it serves as a
deterrent to tyranny and runaway power. The protections we have in our system against a tyrannical,
runaway government are one of the most important points to why the system was designed the way it

• Diffusing Power – The form of federalism that we have in our country, where power is shared
with state governments, and where the federal government is separated into three branches, serves as a
means to make sure that all power is not centralized into a single person or group of people, since
excessive power among a single group tends to be corrupting.

• Increasing Citizen Participation – By not centralizing all power into the hands of a national
government, but sharing that power with state governments, which are closer to the level of the
common citizen, our founders actually increased a citizen’s ability to effect their government,
government policy, and lawmaking.
• More Efficient – When some of the power of the government is dispersed among the states,
giving states the right to solve some of their own problems, you allow for more efficiency within the
system. To try to have a national solution to all problems, which could be refered to as a ‘cookie-cutter
method’ of law and policy making, you end up with solutions that are more effective in some states, and
less effective in others. To allow states to create solutions to their own problems, using policies and laws
that work best in their state, means that each state can come up with its own solution, making
government more efficient.

• Conflict Management – By allowing different communities and states to create their own
policies, they allow for people with irreconcilable differences, or very strong disagreements, to live in
separate areas, and create their own solutions, or policies, that would be totally disagreeable to the
other people in other states or regions of the country.

• Innovation in Law and Policy is Encouraged –By allowing for many state governments, different
sets of policies can be tried, and the ones found most effective at solving its problems can then be
implemented in other states, or on the national level. Imagine Christopher Columbus trying to get
funding to voyage across the Atlantic Ocean if there was a unified Europe back then, with its head saying
‘no!’ to him; instead, he had several governments from which he could try to get his funding – he got
turned down by several governments before Spain gave him the okay. The same principle applies today
with our many states – something that is rejected in one state can most likely be tried in another state,
with competition leading the way, based on effectiveness of those laws.

• State Governments Can be More Responsive to Citizen Needs –The closer a government entity is
to its citizens, the more likely it is the respond to the needs of citizens. States are more likely to listen to
citizen needs, and respond to them, than the national government would be.


Decentralization In Duterte’s federalism, local governments can decide for themselves. Regions or states
are allowed by federalism to create solutions to their own problems, implement policies for their
improvement, and make decisions for their own good without having to ask Malacañang for their
decision. Read more:

Economic effects What about the economic effects of a federal government? Improvement of local
economy is considered as one of the pros of federal government. The federal system allows local
governments have more power over their resources. In the Philippines’ current form of government,
local government units have to turn a big bulk of their funds to the national government. A federal
constitutional system will allow the autonomous regions or states to use the majority of their funds for
their own development and without needing a go signal from Malacañang. Read more:

Less dependence on Metro Manila One of the most common federalist arguments is that a federal
constitution would lead to less dependence on Metro Manila when it comes to finding jobs and
establishing businesses. A whopping 35 percent of the country’s budget was given to Metro Manila even
if it represents only 14 percent of the total population. One importance of federalism is that it allows
fiscal autonomy for local governments. The positive side of this particular aspect is that the country’s
wealth will be more evenly distributed among the state governments. Lots of people also go to Metro
Manila to find stable jobs and establish businesses. Federalism, if it leads to economic improvement for
the autonomous regions, might lead to more job opportunities and business investments outside Metro