About 1,600 participants composed of students, teachers, youth organizations, Sangguniang Kabataan officials, punong barangays, young entrepreneurs and the members of the local community attended this activity which aimed to heighten public awareness on the merits of constitutional reform and federalism.
Federalism, as explained,is a principle that organizes and assigns power and responsibility between two orders of government called federal and sub-national governments. This distribution of power is enshrined in the constitution. Unlike the present Unitary Government where the national government exercises coercive power of the state, federalism effectively splits the coercive power of the state between the federal and sub-national order.
In federalism, territoriality is an important feature wherein regional policies are limited to regional territories and are not applicable at the federal level or in other regional territories and this often leads to disparity of policies but also provides for opportunities for customization of policies to regional and local needs which a centralized unitary system is unable to easily address.
The decentralized unitary system provides some level of local autonomy but ultimately the national government has the final say on everything but federalism is not independence or secession but a shared rule which is not the same as mere representation in Congress.
Shared rule means parity of representation of component units in national decision-making even if they are exclusive powers of the federal government such as foreign affairs and international trade. Hence, federalism enables regions to address their unique problems and issues without having to seek permission from the central government or have the risk of being overruled.
DILG-Ifugao Provincial Director Regina Mammag also presented their “Disiplian Muna Project” and “Operation Listo”programs. (JDP/DBC- PIA CAR, Ifugao)
By Daniel B. Codamon