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Fasttrack federalism shift

The shift to federalism of our country’s presidential government system seems now almost certain under the incoming administration. The current realignment of political forces including the coalitions forged and the assumption of the leadership of both chambers of Congress by allies of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte makes this prospect almost certain.

The shift from Presidential to Federalism entails a protracted process which, if unduly stalled, may prove costly to the national economy which isprimarily driven by investments. Outgoing Albay Gov. Joey Salceda who returns to Congress as Representative of his province’s Capital District, recently pointed out this risk.

He strongly urges the incoming administration to start immediately the charter change process upon assumption and fast tract the shift which he said is of utmost urgency so investors will not unduly withhold their investments which can adversely affect the country’s economy.

A noted economist and former economic adviser to two former Presidents, Salceda said investors may withhold their investments due to uncertainties the restructuring of the government system entails. The problem becomes compelling because “our economic growth is driven by investments,” he explained.

One way to fasttrack the shift and avoid undue delay is to postpone the scheduled Barangay elections next October which will also help save government resources needed for whatever chater change mode is decided.

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Incoming President Duterte’s unnecessary tussle with media is unfortunate. He needs massive information support to help make the people fully understand and rally behind the various government and societal reforms he plans to carry out.

In the light of the raging debates on many contentious issues arising from Duterte’s pronouncements, which sow confusion among the people, support for government initiative by all media sectors, particularly the provincial press, commands urgency.

It is earnestly hoped Presidential Spokesman Sal Penelo and Press Secretary Martin Andanar will be able to effectively harmonize Malacañang and the private media.
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Understandably, the emerging “super majority” secured by Duterte’s camp on both the Senate and House of Representatives has triggered public apprehension about the likelihood of collapse of the “check and balance” mechanism in government, deemed essential in a democracy.

We believe otherwise. As aired by responsible political leaders themselves, including outgoing House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, the Liberal Party coalition with the ruling party will not mean the House will be reduced to a mere rubber stamp of Malacañang. (Johnny Dayang)