It has been two years since Federalism was proposed on the system of government of the Philippines through House Concurrent Resolution No. 15 May 7, 2008. Federalism is one of the most debatable topics today regarding the system of our government. This discussion examines the article of Jose B. Abueva, University of the Philippines Professor Emeritus of Political Science, on the proposed federal-parliamentary system of government for the Philippines.
A federal-parliamentary system must be implemented in the Philippines for it will solve the recurring societal problems and conflicts brought by our centralized government. It will also stimulate and hasten the country’s political, economic and cultural development.
In the unitary-presidential system of our government, the legislative power has a fixed electoral mandate that its own source of legitimacy (Abueva, 12). This means that in our system the executive power is not supported by the majority of the legislature therefore there is no cooperation. Also, we continue the counter-productive unitary-presidential system with its powers, authority and resources centralized in the national government at the expense of local government leaders, citizens and entrepreneurs and country-wide development (1). Another flaw of the system is the Manila Centrism of our economy that causes the congestion of Manila because of the mentality of the people that they will find greener pastures there. In addition, in our system of government the national government frequently meddles in the small problems of the local governments whereas the latter can solve its own small troubles since they know more about them than the national government.
Abueva explains the advantages of federalism and parliamentary government in the Philippines and the characteristics of it that he formed with the Citizen’s Movement for a Federal Philippines (CMFP). There are two main features in the proposed federal-parliamentary system. First is the...
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