MANILA — The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) is proposing a semi-presidential federal system of government for the Philippines.
This was divulged by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya during the Forum on Political Reforms and the Mindanao Peace Process: Challenges and Prospects at the Makati Diamond Residences in Makati City on Monday.
Malaya noted that they had submitted to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last March the PDP-Laban’s model of federalism which is semi-presidential federal system of government.
The DILG official said that the President had said that under a federal form of government, the Philippine National Police (PNP) should be under the national government.
“PDP-Laban believes in structural change since 1982 such that the PDP-Laban has proposed the federal system of government,” Malaya said.
“If we don’t change structures, the rich regions only become richer and the poor regions, much poorer,” he added.
Under the PDP-Laban’s model of federalism, there will be 11 regions with regional governments wherein there will be 3 regions in Mindanao such as Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao and the Bangsamoro.
The President will be the head of state, the Prime Minister will be the head of government and the position of Vice President is optional, which can be retained if such is the will of the Filipino people.
The PDP-Laban has proposed to retain the Senate, but should be elected by the regions wherein the new Senate will only have 1 reading and final approval or review of the measures emanating from the Lower House.
One year before and one year after the elections, “political turncoatism” will be prohibited under the proposed federal form of government and that subsidy will be provided to political parties based on political performance to defray some of their expenses.
Likewise, Malaya said “federalism will empower the local government units (LGUs) to be able to deliver services on time.”
He cited as an example the procurement of textbooks which is done in the central office of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Pasig City which runs in the billions of pesos. A number of times, he said losing bidders were able to secure temporary restraining orders (TROs) from the court which delays the delivery of textbooks for students.
At the same time, Malaya said, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) can expedite the issuance of driver’s licenses and vehicle plates if these are printed or procured in the regions.