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MANILA, Philippines – Under the federal government setup proposed by former Senate president Aquilino Pimentel Jr, the seats of power of the major branches of government should be dispersed throughout the country instead of being concentrated only in Luzon.
In his talk on federalism on Friday, June 17, Pimentel outlined the features of a proposed federal government: autonomous regions will enforce policies for their own affairs, leaving the central government to focus on areas of national interest.
He proposed that the executive department, legislative branch, and the judiciary should have their main offices dispersed across the 3 main island groups of the Philippines.
Pimentel said this was similar to the setup in South Africa, where the executive department is in Pretoria, the legislative department in Cape Town, and the Supreme Court in Bloemfontein.
For the Philippines, the federal executive department can hold offices in the federal administrative region of Metro Manila.
The legislature, meanwhile, will hold office in Central Visayas, while the Supreme Court and a proposed Constitutional Court, which will decide on constitutional issues, will hold their main offices in the federal state of Northern Mindanao.
Pimentel added that major government offices should also be dispersed instead of being concentrated in Metro Manila so they will be closer and more in touch with citizens outside the capital region.
He has also suggested increasing the number of senators for the 11 proposed federal states under this setup.
Shifting to a federal setup instead of the current unitary form of government has been a hot topic in recent months, with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte openly espousing this form of government. (READ: Will federalism address PH woes? Pros and cons of making the shift)
Supporters of federalism say this will benefit regions because it will allow them to have better control of their funds and their own development. – Rappler.com