Someone from our beloved followers asked me this question; Am I in favor of a federal form of government? As an honest opinion, I am in favor of a federal form of government. But before we proceed to my thoughts, allow me to indicate one of the major reasons why I support a federal form of government. First, It is the core reason why some of the insurgents in our country is fighting for a cause (i.e. NPA, MNLF, MILF and other insurgent groups).
Based on our research, NPA’s historic fight for their Cordillera Lands that was invaded by foreign people was their root of these activities until it was reformed and became the current NPA. For a quick history, those living in the Mountain Province like Benguet, Baguio and other neighboring provinces were forced out of their lands and they were asked for a title which was used by the Americans and since those Cordillera people were armed with Bow and Arrows before; they were fighting against a fully supported army of Americans. Thus, forcing them out of their motherlands. It was really frustrating in their part since they don’t have the ways and means to fight and they also believe that their motherland are resting place of their deceased ancestors. PMA, Baguio Golf Club and Camp John Hay were believed to be from the Cordillera Lands taken over.
Same is true with the Mindanao people. They were also driven out from their homelands and forced to live in the mountainous areas since they are illiterate people who were away from the Capital (i.e. Manila) for education. Thus, they were also asked for land titles and if they will not comply with such, they will be forced with Guns and mechanical equipment. Second, they also believed that Mindanao is not part of the Philippines but it is a part of the Sultanate of Sulu and Borneo. However, when Philippines was busy fighting their own Independence from Spaniards; Malaysia took the Opportunity to take Sabah. In addition, during the Marcos Regime, former Senator Aquino Sr. allegedly had an agreement with the Malaysian Government to oust the former President Marcos then Sabah shall be given to the Malaysian People. (Marcos and Aquino is a long history so you should research on your own. Peace!)
So to solve the insurgents we discussed earlier is to have a Federal form of government which is proposed by the previous lawmakers and Administration.
So, The structure of central governments varies from institution to institution. But, by delegating powers from the central government to governments at a sub-national level and autonomous regions; the concern of the local government which is neglected by the central government will be addressed promptly.
In a federal system, local government are living within the state they are governing, hence, the response of the politician will be abrupt. In addition, they are in a better position to understand these problems and offer unique solutions for them.
The central government has the power to make and enforce laws for the whole country which are in contrast with local governments. Usually, the responsibilities of the central government which are not granted to lower levels of government are maintaining national security and exercising international diplomacy, including the right to sign binding treaties.
A federal form of government caters different populations, knowing Philippines as a multi-cultural country which has diverse culture, beliefs and traditions which are sometime overlooked by the central government.
While formulating policies and local needs; opinions are given due consideration of the state government. Rights of the minorities are heard compared to a central government. In addition, optimum utilization of resources is done in a federal state. Therefore, the central government could focus on international affairs and national security while the Federal Government addressed the needs of the locals.
Federal government provides room for innovation and experimentation if the central government deemed in inappropriate and unfeasible. Different local governments can have different approaches to bring reforms in any area of public domain, be it education, sanitations, public health and local policies.
Sometimes, issues and problems of a specific population need a specific policy. A clear example is the wearing of “Hijab” of our Muslim sisters in Mindanao were in the central government is neglecting since they are mostly situated in the southern part of the country. Hence, a federal form of government could address this issue.