Decentralization and Federalism in the Philippines: Lessons from Global Community Alex B. Brillantes, Jr. and Donna Moscare
More than five centuries of being under the Spaniards, has created a system of government which is highly centralized, bureaucratic, and hierarchical. Not only did the Philippines continue to implement a centralized system of governance, but it also developed a culture predisposed to dependency, and a mindset that looks down on local level institutions. Although centralized governments have their positive aspects, the flaws in the system stand out in the Philippine setting due to the fact that the Philippines is an archipelago composed of more than 7,000 islands, 400 of which are inhabited, and more than 80 Provinces. The difficulty in travel, communication, and access to the far-flung provinces and sitios has made the task of administering so tedious and inefficient. This has resulted to poor delivery of basic services to the various sitios, and opened the eyes of Filipinos to the benefits of decentralization.
I would like to point out however that this problem did not go unnoticed as the Philippine government enacted numerous laws to provide more power and autonomy to local governments. The most familiar and extensive of these is the Local Government Code of 1991. Though the Philippines has had numerous milestones and setbacks in its struggle to empower the local governments, the perceived openness of the Filipinos to this form of devolution of powers and the observed progress and efficiency among local governments has revived the debate on the implementation of a Federal form of government. The main argument being, if decentralization has led to numerous gains, then a Federal form of government would definitely lead to more gains.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel, pointed out two major reasons why Federalism would be good for the Philippines, he believed that this would, 1.
Hasten the economic development among the various regions of...
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