DILG opens federalism campaign office

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has created an office that will be focused on pushing the campaign for federalism. 

Called the Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform (CFCR), it will be headed by DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, the agency announced on Wednesday, February 14.

The CFCR will act as the central office in the production and distribution of campaign materials, such as pamphlets, presentations, and posters to be distributed online and offline to barangays nationwide. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Federalism in PH – what Duterte’s party is proposing)

“The cornerstone of the President’s change agenda is the shift from a unitary to a federal system of government. And the DILG, through the CFCR, is privileged to take center stage and lead the nationwide campaign to inform and educate the public about the merits of federalism,” DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año said in a statement.

The office promises a "multi-sectoral and mass-based approach" that is "anchored on research" in campaigning for federalism in the culturally diverse and economically lopsided country.

Asked about the center's budget, Malaya told Rappler on Thursday, February 15, that they were given P100 million for 2018. "It is not enough but it's better than nothing," he said. 

The centers plan to make do by asking local government units and the private sector to host its representatives during consultations.  

The shift to federalism was part of Duterte's campaign platform.

He recently created a consultative committee on constitutional reform as the House of Representatives and the Senate separately deliberate on constitutional amendments. (READ: A comparison of Cha-Cha proposals: From federalism to foreign equity)

The administration aims to adopting the new political system before Duterte steps down in 2022. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.