MANILA–What the Philippines really needs is cultural change and not federalism, Sen. Richard Gordon said Monday stressing that even with the shift to federalism, the country will stay the same if it’s run by the same people.
“Parang new society with the same old faces. Kunwari yung society, federal government, eh yun na naman ang magpapatakbo, same people. So ang kailangan natin is cultural change in the way we run the government,” Gordon said.
(“It will be like a new society with the same old faces. For example in the society, in a federal government, the same people will run it. So what we need is cultural change in the way we run the government,” Gordon said.)
Gordon said shifting to federalism should not be a legislative priority this year since the country is not ready for such a transition.
Moreover, he said that the shift might further divide the country into autonomous states.
Instead of federalism, Gordon said what is needed is change the country’s electoral system. This way, he said worthy candidates with insufficient campaign funds would have the same chance of getting elected as well-funded candidates.
“Gusto ko baguhin yung sistema ng eleksyon. Unless we do it, how can you change? Tatakbo akong senador o tatakbong presidente, para makapag-advertise ka, PHP895,000 for 30 seconds. Para makakuha ka ng ganung salapi, either mayaman na mayaman ka, which means pabor lamang sa mayaman yan,” the senator said.
(“I want to change the electoral system. Unless we do it, how can you change? If you run for senator or president, to advertise, you need PHP895,000 for 30 seconds. To get that amount of money, you should be very rich,” the senator said.)
Gordon also added that the rich would also tend to recover the money they spent for in other ways. Being able to receive huge amount of money from contributors and supporters also meant they would have debt of gratitude and would willingly give favors to those who asked for it.
He said he will propose that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) hold televised debates in every region which would be funded by the government so that voters will be able to “choose with discernment”