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Suggested Federalism in the Philippines

by Poll Anthony R. Santillan

ABSTRACT This paper aims to discuss what federalism is, as well as its benefits and disadvantages that the Philippine government will be setting about if they carry out the federal system of government. This also discusses about how the decentralization of government will benefit the local level. This paper answers the question: Will Federalism work for the Philippines? KEYWORDS 1. Federalism 2. Decentralization 3. Governance 4. Charter Change

BODY Federalism Federalism in the Philippines is a proposed system of administration for the country and a revision of the current 1987 Constitution. Under Joint Resolution No. 10, proposed by Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., the creation of eleven autonomous regions out of the Philippine Republic which would establish centers of finance and development in the archipelago. To be more knowledgeable about the topic, I will give you some ideas about what federalism or federal system is. There are three major structures for government namely Unitary, Confederation, and Federalism systems of government. The most common is the unitary system, which the country is currently adopting, where power is held in at a national level and very little power is delegated to the smaller political subdivisions. Federalism is achieved when there is a division of power between the National and State levels of government. Federal system involves the establishment of relatively small, coexisting political units that are geographically within the boundaries of economic interaction and territorial reach of the central government. To make it easier for you, federalism is a type of governance, where individual states surrender some of their power in favor of a central governing body. However, each state has authority in some matters, which differ from one federation to the other. Federalism is said to be an equal sharing of powers between national, local and state governments.

Advantages The good thing about federalism is that it permits diversity and diffusion of power. The states are responsible for making policies that the people really necessitate; policies involving social, family, and moral/religious issues. When certain policies to be made by the local government infringe upon the human rights of smaller faction, the national government can, however, obliterate them through a system of checks and balances. The decentralization of the government allows the desires and needs of smaller groups of people to be fulfilled at the local level. As well all know, a large, single centralized government would be unable to make efficient social policies that are compatible with the convictions of the majority. Disadvantages However, federalism will hamper corruption in general, too. This system provides more opportunities for corrupt government officials for it involves a larger bureaucracy with many more people in the decision-making process. There are factors that we have to look for and consider before embracing the federal system of government. One factor is we must have strong states and ensure governance, specifically good governance, at the local level and deliver services. But part of the goal is to ensure that no single political group or dynasty will dominate. Will it be good for the Philippines? With how the people choose the people to rule the places they belong to, I do not think federalism is good for the country. As what Dr. Rizal G. Buendia said, People

cant distinguish whats a political party and what is a gang. If that is the case, fede ral system of government will certainly not work for the Philippines. Without the central government, who do you think would oppose those who abusively rule in the local government? The people? People are said to be frail for they easily get intimidated and be bought. Those who are strong remain strong, and those who are weak remain weak.

REFERENCES Federalism in the Philippines - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved February 14, 2013,

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalism_in_the_Philippines Government and Politics - The Benefits of Federalism :: Exploratory Essays Research Papers. (n.d.). Free Essays, Term Papers, Research Paper, and Book Report. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from http://htrf-asia.blogspot.com/2008/08/casefor-federalism-in-philippines-cha.html Effective Papers: Research Paper on Federalism. (n.d.). Effective Papers. Retrieved February 14, 2013, from http://effectivepapers.blogspot.com/2011/01/researchpaper-on-federalism.html