2 of the country regions have openly come out in favor of a shift to a federal form of government.
Both the Cordillera Administrative Region and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao backed the shift to a federal form of government in separate presentations to the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments.
The Committee is in the thick of consultations on its proposal to convene a Constituent Assembly to shift to a federal form of government, a campaign promise of President Duterte.
In the CAR’s presentation, Autonomy is considered a first step towards federalism.
The 1987 constitution allows autonomy for the region. However in a new constitution, a Cordillera Federal State maybe created. However codiellera needs to become a strong region as it transitions to federalism.
There is already a House Bill 5343 that’s been filed in Congress, promoting the recognition of the region’s identity and culture. it runs parallel with the promotion of Bangsamoro advocacy.
CAR is one of the regions in the country authorized under the 1987 Constitution to be given regional autonomy.
President Duterte’s push for federalism is to address the peace process in Mindanao.
The efforts of the Aquino administration to pass a proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law to operationalize its 2014 peace agreement with the Moro Isliamic Liberation Front has been met with questions on the constitutionality of its provisions.
echoing the presentation of CAR, Muslim Mindanao also pointed out that a stronger regional autonomy is necessary for a federal government. “in order for federalism to really take off, there needs to be an operational model that we could use as reference. the Autonomous regions of cordillera and muslim Mindanao are the closest in terms of institutional and structural preparedness.” The presentation read.
The presentation further added, ” regardless of approach towards reform, it is critical to strengthen efforts to improve the infrastructure and the capacity of the regional and local bureaucracy. “
Present in the hearing of the committee on constitutional amendments chaired by Rep. Roger Mercado (Lone District, Southern Leyte) were Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, chairman of the Cordillera Regional Development Council (CRDC); Dir. Milagros Rimando, CRDC vice chairperson; Engr. Marlo Iringan, Regional Director of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-CAR; Atty. Anwar Malang, Regional Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-ARMM; Atty. Ishak Mastura, chairperson/managing head of the Board of Investments (BOI)-ARMM; and Atty. Randolph Parcasio, consultant to the ARMM Governor.