FEDERALISM was a catchy campaign tag-line for the sharing of revenues and power, to expedite development and progress in parts of the Philippines, left behind. The political imbalance coupled with rising regional/local demands for economic equality further percolated provincial resentments in the Visayas and Mindanao. Federalism became a promising proposition to supposedly guarantee equal standing before a “Tagalog” controlled capital, and as a rational way to resolve contradictions in economic activity, investment, business development, and infra projects mostly concentrated in Metro-Manila, Region 4 and Luzon provinces. Recall, the drive for political equivalence by leaders from the Visayas and Mindanao e.g. “Promdi” Party (From the province) of Lito Osmena, the vintage cry among Cebuano speakers nationwide of “Kita Nasad” (Our turn), and the battle cry under the Duterte Campaign, “Bisaya na pud” (Choose a Visayan). Surgical examination of said victory, based on a plurality percentage of the present administration, however, argues a non-mandate to establish federalism, weighed against the sum total of votes among other presidential aspirants, back then. Truth to tell, crime, drugs, corruption and straight-talking, carried the day for a Mindanaoan being the more relatable backbone for a Mayor Duterte winning the election. Federalism was a PDP platform assumed by necessity of the party standard bearer for the presidency. PDP needed a Duterte to metamorphose into national prominence, plus create a new chorus of butterflies in Philippine politics.
Federalism in its purest application is recognized as an expensive system of government. It is alternately known as “bureaucratization” to refer to the duplication and triplication etc. of government bureaucracies from state to federal governance e.g. state congress, state supreme courts, plus federal congress and federal supreme court. There are federal governments which are in application, unitary in administration e.g. Germany, US, etc. where Berlin and Washington DC still call the shots.