Gov’t centralization is opposed by the Church
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - September 6, 2015 - 10:00am

For our special presentation on our talk show “Straight from the Sky,” we are going to talk about politics. After all, the political kettle is starting to boil and as we know too well, Filipinos, eat, drink, and sleep politics so I reckon now is the right time to discuss on TV the current political situation in the Philippines and our local politics here in Cebu.

With us tonight are two potential contenders, former president and general manager of the Government Insurance Service System  and former Provincial Board Member Winston Garcia and Mr. Rene “R.E.” Espina, Jr. the son of former Cebu Governor and Senator Rene Espina. Both of our guests have expressed their intention to run for elective positions in the government.

So watch this very interesting show on SkyCable’s channel 61 at 8:00 tonight with replays on Wednesday and Saturday same time and channel. We also have replays in MyTV’s channel 30 at 9:00PM and 7:00AM and 9:00 PM on Wednesday and Friday.

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I’m back in Cebu after my four-day retreat with Opus Dei at the Mt. Makiling Conference Center upon the invitation of Good Governance Guru, Prof. Jess Estanislao. It’s not easy to detach oneself from one’s hectic daily routine and put on the brakes and shift gears towards a four-day reflection to nourish our souls. In fact for my reading, I only brought one book, the “Compendium of the Social Doctrines of the Catholic Church. Since this book is a bit thick, I focused on the topic on the Principle of Subsidiarity. So allow me to fire off an excerpt from the book on page 115 on chapter 4 on the principles of Subsidiarity that truly interested me.

“The principle of subsidiarity protects people from abuses by higher-level social authority and calls on this same authority to help individuals and intermediate groups to fulfill their duties. This principle is imperative because every person, family, and intermediate group has something original to offer to the community. Experience shows that the denial of subsidiarity, or its limitation in the name of an alleged democratization or equality of all members of society limits and sometimes even destroys the spirit of freedom and initiative.

The principle of subsidiarity is “opposed to certain forms of centralization, bureaucratization and welfare assistance” and to the unjustified and excessive presence of the State in public mechanism. “By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than concern for serving their clients, which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.”

This passage from the Compendium of the Social Doctrines of the Catholic Church sounded alarm bells in my ears when I read this. I showed this passage to Dr. Jess Estanislao and he told me that we should strive to achieve this goal. It is for this very reason why we have continually opposed Imperial Manila, whose greed has caused Metro Manila to be so overpopulated due to over development. In the end, traffic has become a daily nightmare for the people living and working in Metro Manila.

Pres. Aquino has been at the helm of Malacañang for more than five years already and despite his pouring all infrastructure development in Metro Manila, no one has apparently solved the traffic mess that plagues EDSA. Today, the traffic enforcers of the Metro Manila Development Authority assigned to patrol the entire length of EDSA have been replaced by the Philippine National Police Traffic Command. Frankly speaking, I don’t think that Trafcom officers can solve the traffic problem simply because there are just too many vehicles on the road.

But like what we’ve already said so many times before, the problem in Metro Manila can only be solved if Imperial Manila agrees to hold a Constitutional Convention (con-con) so we could shift from our highly-centralized form of government into a Parliamentary/Federal form of government. Again, let me repeat the quote we printed on the principles of subsidiarity.

“The principle of subsidiarity is “opposed to certain forms of centralization, bureaucratization and welfare assistance.”

Now it just makes me wonder why the Catholic Church, through the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has not yet taken the cudgels for the Filipino people to demand from the government that these principles of subsidiarity be followed by the Philippine government?

Let me point out clearly that the principles of Federalism are important for a democratic government. Amongst these principles are the division and separation of power and the decentralization of policies and politics. Centralized power threatens our liberty and the people traditionally have feared most the use of power by a very distant national government that we call Imperial Manila. The time is ripe for change and we should do it now!

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

vsbobita@mozcom.com

ACIRC CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES CATHOLIC CHURCH CEBU CEBU GOVERNOR AND SENATOR RENE ESPINA COMPENDIUM OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH GOVERNMENT IMPERIAL MANILA MANILA METRO MANILA SUBSIDIARITY
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