FEDERALISM ADVOCATE. Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel keynotes the Federalism Forum in Zambales held at RMTU Main Campus Gymnasium, Iba, Zambales, Jun. 22.
IBA, Zambales – In consonance with the advocacies of the Duterte administration in pushing the federalism government in the country, the Ramon Magsaysay Technological University (RMTU) hosted the first-ever federalism forum in Zambales held at RMTU Main Campus Gymnasium, Jun. 22.
Former Senator Aquilino ‘Nene’ Pimentel served as the keynote speaker during the half-day event which was attended by the university officials, members of the RMTU academic and administrative council, faculty and staff, junior and senior college students and other stakeholders from the different societal sectors.
The Father of the Local Government Code shared his thoughts on the theme, “The Philippine Government in Transition to Federalism: Progress Through Self-sustainability and Regional Empowerment”
Pimentel enlightened the public on the benefits, opportunities and thrusts of the federalism type of government which he said was first proposed in 1982.
The speaker said that the federal idea, then, was seminal in many respects as it was proposed to “serve as the basis of a viable alternative to the dictatorship, and bring about a distribution of government powers previously concentrated in the national government for so long.”
“The proposed solution was for the national government to share power – political and economic – with the regional and local governments throughout the nation. Peacefully, by converting the country into a Federal Republic,” the former senator enthused.
He added that some provisions of the present Constitution are proposed for retention despite the move to federalize the country.
Federalism type of gov’t
It is proposed that the country shall have 11 federal states to be created basically out of the administrative regions already existing.
According to the proposed federalism government, there will be four states in Luzon, four in Visayas and three in Mindanao.
Pimentel, the primary author of RA 7160 (Local Government Code of 1991), said if the presidential form will be retained under the federal system, the president and vice president should be elected as a team.
“The senators will be elected by federal state while members of House of Representatives will be elected by district. Each state shall be represented by six senators,” the speaker explained.
He also said that every federal state will “have own governor and vice governor. There will still be provincial governors, city or municipal mayors, and other local government officials.”
“Under the federal system, the shares of provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays will be bigger than what is currently provided for under the Local Government Code.”
Support of LGU Zambales, RMTU
The provincial government of Zambales expressed its support to the proposed type of government.
Present in the forum were 2nd District Representative Congw. Cheryl Deloso-Montalla, Vice Governor Angel Magsaysay-Cheng, Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, local officials and barangay representatives.
The Federalism Forum is the first-ever forum held in Zambales and hosted by a state university in Central Luzon.
Likewise, Dr. Cornelio C. Garcia, RMTU president, expressed his support to the proposed shift from presidential to federal government.
Nene Pimentel serves as keynote speaker
By Danilo V. Rogayan Jr., The Ramonian Chief Correspondent