The University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) hosted the “Kapihan ng Bayan sa UP”, a regular public forum for nationally relevant issues, on April 18 at the Ang Bahay ng Alumni in UP Diliman, Quezon City. Resource speakers discussed the pros and cons of having to shift the Philippines form of government to federalism.
In his presentation, “Establishing a Stronger, and a More Efficient, Effective, Responsive, and Accountable Philippine Democracy”, Dr. Jose V. Abueva, President of Kalayaan College and former UP President, discussed the need for system change.
Abueva favored a shift to a unitary and parliamentary form of government to resolve the country’s decades-long problems arising from the current system which he said constitutes a weak nation and an unconsolidated democracy.
Counterarguments to the Duterte administration’s proposed shift to federalism, on the other hand, were given by Hon. Vicente V. Mendoza, retired Supreme Court Justice. His presentation supported more decentralization and local autonomy in government as he cautions against federalism and Constitutional amendments.
According to Mendoza, federalism will intensify regionalism, create new problems, and lead to fragmentation. He explained that more decentralization and local autonomy in government, not federalism, can help resolve the issues posed by those who are pushing for federalism; and that the desired developments can be attained without changing the form of government.
Atty. Ramon M. Maronilla, UPAA president; Atty. Reynaldo C. Laserna, UPAA 2nd vice president; Atty. Domingo C. Palarca, UPAA director; Atty. Oscar P. Palabyab, UPAA 1st vice president; and Atty. Pastor Marcelo M. Reyes, Jr., UPAA Public Issues Committee chair, facilitated the forum.
Additional photos of the event can be viewed by clicking here.