Federalism will bring more jobs, Nene Pimentel says

Gaea Katreena Cabico - The Philippine Star
Federalism will bring more jobs, Nene Pimentel says

The federalism advocate noted that the shift to federalism would “provide employment for the people, which I think is one of the basic problems confronting the nation today.”

MANILA, Philippines — The shift to a federal from unitary form of government will address the problem of unemployment among Filipinos, former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr said Wednesday.

“The entry of investors in the various parts of the country would need the participation and consent of the National Economic and Development Authority. Whereas, if you adapt the federal system, then the federal states will be empowered to invite investors to come their way and locate themselves in specific areas within the territory,” Pimentel during the Senate deliberations on the proposed charter change.

The federalism advocate noted that the shift would “provide employment for the people, which I think is one of the basic problems confronting the nation today.”

Earlier in the hearing, Pimentel — credited with crafting the Local Government Code, which gives local governments more autonomy — said federalism is "vital," not a "lethal experiment" as described by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

In December 2017, the country recorded an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, one point higher than the 4.7 percent in 2016.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian then asked why the Constitution needs to be revised instead of just introducing amendments to economic provisions in the charter.

“That will be easier to do and yet you will still be confronted with the situation where the implementation of that good intention is still in the hands of the Metro Manila highly-centralized government,” Pimentel said.

Concentration of money and power in "Imperial Manila" has helped fuel the call for federalism, one of the campaign promises of the widely popular President Rodrigo Duterte.

He added: “We’re suggesting that more powers of the government will be devolved to federal states unlike what is provided in the Local Government Code.”

Poor will be poorer

Davide, when asked to enumerate three benefits of federalism, said the proposed form of government will not bring progress and stability to Filipinos.

"Federalism will create a horrible, enlarged bureaucracy. From here on, that federal system of government might be dangerous to us," he said.

The former chief magistrate added: "Under the federal bureaucracy, the poor would be poorer. Inevitably, the people will be burdened with more taxes of all kinds to support and maintain the federal bureaucracy."

The country currently employs a unitary form of government with much of the power emanating from the central government.

Federalism provides more powers to local governments, including the power to establish courts, implement business regulations and impose taxes.

Countries employing federal systems include United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, India and Mexico. Duterte has previously mentioned France as a potential model for the Philippines.

READFederalism: What Filipinos need to know






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