The 1,489-strong League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) believes that federalism will help local chief executives (LCEs) develop their own areas and offers its support for the government’s campaign for a federal shift.
"Bilang presidente ng LMP, sinusuportahan ko ang pederalismo… Lahat ng mga punong-bayan sa Pilipinas ay sumusuporta sa pederalismo. Maganda kasi ang programa. Magiging equal share na so gaganda na ang aming mga lugar,” says LMP President Mayor Ma. Fe. “Bubut” Brondial of the Municipality of Socorro.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) conducted its 15th regional roadshow for federalism in Socorro, Mimaropa late last week, during which the rally garnered around 2,000 attendees.
Seniors, youth, farmers and fisherfolk rally for federalism
During the rally, the elderly, youth, farmers and fisherfolks in Oriental Mindoro rose to support the government’s thrust for a new system of government.
"Sa pederalismo, lalong malaki ang maaasahan nating pensyon. Sa pederalismo, lahat magkakaroon ng pantay-pantay na rehiyon. Empowered ang region socially, politically and economically. Sapagkat ang Pilipinas ay isang archipelago, pinakamagaling sa ganitong sitwasyon ang federalism. Panawagan ko sa inyong lahat, magkaisa tayo sa isang gobyerno: ang pederalismo!" says Rehino P. Hernandez, head of Socorro’s Office of Senior Citizen Affairs.
Meanwhile, the regional government will be able to fix the woes of the fisherfolks in their own jurisdictions by building on aquaculture and mariculture projects geared towards food security and self-sufficiency.
"As part of government connected to the fisheries sector, I give my full support to federalism. Under the current setup, medyo neglected po ang fisheries,” says Marius Panahon, aquaculturist of the City Government of Calapan.
Even farmers are tired of drawing the short end of a long-standing system that does not prioritize their needs despite being the heart and soul of Philippine consumerism, according to Gavino Villaruel, President of the Coconut Farmers Association of Barangay Malubay.
"Isa lamang akong maliit na magsasaka. Pinangarap namin ang bagong sistema ng gobyerno. Matagal naming pinangarap ang federal system of government dahil mula noon, hindi kailanman nagbago ang sistema sa Pilipinas," says Villaruel.
Barangay Bayuin Sangguniang Kabataan John Harold M. Braza believes that federalism will help the Philippines become progressive and developed and thus supports a shift to a federal system of government.
The DILG has been visiting the different regions of the country with the aim to spread public awareness on a federal form of governance.