WITH THE possible shift of the current unitary presidential system of government to a federal one, the youth sector would play an important role in advocating awareness on the said concept, an educator said in a forum held Wednesday.
Prof. Eric de Torres, chair of the University of the East Department of Political Science, said the Filipinos’ awareness on federalism is important because it is up to the people to determine if the planned shift in the government system will push through during a plebiscite.
“What we are doing is basically proposing a change in the political system and administrative system. At the end of the day, how will you be able to sell this to people? The key consideration really is awareness and education, especially on the part of the youth, and common people,” de Torres said.
Since the start of the campaign period, President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for a federal system of government in light of what he claimed as uneven distribution of wealth among the regions of the country.
A federal form of government creates autonomous regions where state governments manage their own affairs independent of the central government.
“Dito nag-uusap tayo [at] nagkakaroon ng diyalogo, pero kapag lumabas ka at kinausap mo ‘yung fishball vendor sa Asturias, wala silang pakialam sa usaping pagpapalit sa sistemang pampulitkal. Ito ang mga mamamayang Pilipino na boboto sa plebesito kung ito man ay matutuloy.”
About 60 to 70 percent of votes in a plebiscite will come from the public.
“We need to constantly educate the youth. Tandaan natin na malaki na ang manner ng participation [ng youth] sa pag-di-disseminate ng information pagdating sa mga ganitong usapan,” de Torres said.
Other speakers in the forum were Dr. Francisco Magno, Jonathan Malaya, Atty. Benedicto Bacani, Novel Bangsal, and Prof. Edmund Tayao.
The Political Science Forum, in collaboration with Political Science seniors and the Local Government Development Foundation, organized the event titled Evolving the Right Model for a Working Philippine Democracy. F KRYSTAL GAYLE R. DIGAY