MAKATI, April 18 (PIA)--The 17 Metro Manila mayors have expressed their support to the administration of President Duterte’s thrust and campaign to shift from the presidential to a federal form of government.
In a recent Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting, the 17 local chief executives issued a resolution, expressing the council’s advocacy towards a shift from a centralized and unitary system to a federal form of government.
TESDA Secretary-General Guiling Mamondiong and the representative of Sen. Koko Pimentel also attended the recent MMC meeting.
“…the Council recognizes the immediate need to further enhance the national and local governments’ efforts in improving the country’s peace and order situation, economic activities, business and trade relations, employment opportunities, health care, and disaster preparedness, among others,” the MMC resolution read.
It added that “the present system of Philippine Government is such that the three great powers of the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary are centralized in the National Capital Region (NCR) thereby effectively alienating the other regions of the archipelago from much-needed government support.”
The MMC is the policy-making body of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The local chief executives are supportive of the key agenda of the Duterte administration, and just merely waiting for guidelines on the transition of power and mandates.
“After a judicious evaluation of the existing systems of government around the world vis-à-vis the unique and diverse circumstances, needs, and requirements of the country and the Filipino people, it is imperative that a new and more responsive form of government be adopted the soonest,” the Metro Manila mayors said.
Meanwhile, MMDA General Manager Tim Orbos said he is thankful to the metro mayors for being supportive of federalism.
"They just want to know and be clear of how to operationalize the system," Orbos said.
MMDA has also initiated the NCR for Mindanaoans campaign to help mobilize Metro Manila for, and in support of the national government’s key agenda, including the shift toward a federal form of government.
In a concept note, the movement argued that once the country successfully shifted to federalism, “even NCR’s long pestering problems such as lack of shelter, massive influx of informal settlers, traffic congestion, peace and order and the cutthroat competition amongst traders and manufacturers…would likely be alleviated, if not completely addressed…”.
It said that that government’s “balik probinsya” program would have a greater chance of success that would in turn curb the congestion in Metro Manila.
Even before being elected to the presidency, then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been advocating for federalism in governance to address the problems and concerns that plagued other regions of the country, specifically Mindanao.
Being an archipelago, President Duterte believes that a federal form of government is the answer to solve the unique concerns of every region and province in the Philippines. (MMDA/RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)