Federalism to decongest MM – lawmaker

Jess Diaz - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The shift to the federal system, which incoming president Rodrigo Duterte is advocating, will decongest Metro Manila by attracting investments in the provinces, representative-elect Luis Raymund Villafuerte of Camarines Sur said yesterday.

He said federalism would stimulate development in regions outside Metro Manila.

He said economic zones should be put up preferably in coastal provinces, “like what they do in Thailand and Indonesia, in order to spur growth and development strategically and geographically.”

He added that currently, half of economic zones are located in either Metro Manila or neighboring provinces like Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.

Villafuerte, who had steered the rise of his province as a growth and tourism center when he was its governor, stressed that the shift to a federal government is crucial to attracting private investments and accelerating growth in the countryside under the Duterte presidency.

“Federalism alone could ensure full autonomy for provinces and cities in charting their respective growth paths, which, in turn, would foster a healthy competition among these local government units in wooing investments from both foreign and local business groups,” he said.

“This should serve as a strong impetus to Congress to give its full support to the shift to a federal form of government at the onset of the next administration,” he said.


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