The shift of the Philippines unitary government system to federal government system is one of the goals of President Rodrigo Duterte. As the current government system of the Philippines continues to disappoint its citizens, a federal government is proposed to be adopted as it may aid the pending development of the country.
The Unitarian system became Manila- centric where power is limited only where the Central Government is placed and this resulted to imbalance development across the country. As a citizen who has been hoping for a brighter life, I think it is time to change our kind of government for the good of all so I stand positively and agreeably agree to the shift of our government system.
As we all know, Philippines is composed of 7,107 islands each inhabited by different culture and ethnicity. Despite this diversity, the country is under a Unitary form of government where the central government is the highest governing power. Income and funds from different regions will be handled by the central government and then redistribute it often disproportionately so.
Our autonomous regions, provinces, municipalities and barangays can only exercise powers and enact policies that the central government chooses to delegate to them. This causes unfulfillment to the real needs of a specific region.
On the other hand, federalism is a proposed type of government wherein sovereignty is constitutionally divided between the national government and subdivisional governments (such as states or provinces). Federalism divides the country into several autonomous states with a national government. States will have the main responsibility over developing their local industries, public health and safety, education, transportation, and culture.
These states have more power over their finances, policies, development plans, and laws. Under a federal government, states are empowered to make their own decisions. They no longer need to rely on the central government to decide for them. Furthermore, decentralization in the Philippines would allow states to keep more of their income to themselves. They do not have to rely on collecting real estate tax and business permit fees – 80% of their total earned income stays, while only 20% goes back to the national government.
This means that states are able to channel their own income for their own development, creating policies and programs suitable for them without having to wait for the national government to approve. Within the 80% budget that remains with these states, 30% will be funneled to the local state government, and 70% will be allocated to the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays.