The Centrist Democracy Political Institute (CDPI) in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Philippines brought together experts and partners in the shared effort of paving the way to Federalism through a conference and dialogue last 25 November 2016 at St. Giles Hotel, Makati City.
“There is nothing to fear about forming [the future] states,” Mr. Benedikt Seemann, resident representative for KAS-Philippines underscored in his presentation on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations: The German Example. He described the German Federal model based on the historical and cultural context of the country. Seemann emphasized several features which can be adopted by the Philippines i.e. tax system, intergovernmental relations and power sharing among future states. However, he cited that aside from the framework, it must be studied carefully how much it would cost the government towards the entire federalization process.
Dr. Ronald Adamat, former member of Advocacy Commission (AdCom) and currently a consultant to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Project Management Office on Federalism presented DILG’s suggested roadmap to Federalism. DILG’s proposed roadmap has been presented to several groups nationwide and is open for further improvement. It will be presented to the Duterte Administration and is expected to be launched in December 2016.
DILG received a direct mandate from the Office of the President to provide salient recommendations as to how the administration will pursue federalism in the next few years.
“There can be no genuine federalism without, first, real and institutionalized political parties; a law banning political dynasties; a law on freedom of information; and immediate electoral reforms,” Mr. Lito Monico Lorenzana, CDPI president and founder stressed in his presentation on the Centrist Democrats’ position on Federalism.
According to Lorenzana, those important pre-conditions will have to be embedded in the future amended revision of the Philippine Constitution and will have to be enacted as laws. Without these salient prerequisites, oligarchs and political clans will dominate the socio-political-economic activities and will hamper participation and democracy in the future states.
With the theme “Conference and Dialogue on the Initiatives of Federalist Groups towards the Roadmap to Federalism, ” the event aimed to gather and share ideas and strategies in formulating the Roadmap to Federalism.
The conference together with the participating federalist groups - DILG, Centrist Democratic Party (CDP), Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP), KAS, and PDU30-CORE, concluded that the most ideal framework, based on the economic, political, social, and cultural background and realities of the Philippines, is a Federal-Parliamentary form of government.