No economic disruption in federalism, only ‘greater growth’ – Con-com
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia’s fear that a shift to federalism would “wreak havoc” on the country’s economy is baseless, President Rodrigo Duterte’s charter change committee said on Wednesday.
Contrary to Pernia’s claim, changing the form of government would lead to a “greater” economic growth, according to Ding Generoso, spokesman of the Consultative Committee (Con-com), which is chaired by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno.
“The shift to a federal system of government won’t cause disruption in the nation’s economy but, in fact, lead to greater and a more balanced growth over the medium- and long-term after the system is put in place,” Generoso said in a statement.
“There is no basis for fear that it will ‘wreak havoc’ because the transition will be made smooth, orderly, effective and efficient. Such assessment is completely misplaced,” he added.
In an interview on Tuesday in “The Chiefs,” a One News program, Pernia said that federalism could disrupt infrastructure projects of the administration and “wreak havoc” on the country’s fiscal situation.
But Generoso said that charter change, if Filipinos should votes for it, would not immediately happen because a transition plan would have to be put in place first.
“It is not like the shift will happen immediately upon ratification of the proposed constitution,” Generoso said. “This is why a transition commission will first be put in place to formulate the comprehensive transition plan.”
The transition, Generoso said, would involve all agencies of government at the national, regional and local levels. It would also involve the private sector.
“In fact, even as early as now, a mechanism can be put in place to already conduct initial studies to support the transition plan,” Generoso explained.
“Upon ratification of the proposed charter, everything remains as they are,” he said. “Government and all agencies will operate as usual, businesses will operate as usual, the economy will operate and move as usual.”
Generoso said there would be a creation of institutions, such as the governments of the federated regions and the Federal Intergovernmental Commission (FIGC), to accommodate the transition.
On the other hand, laws would need to be revised or amended to conform with the new federal constitution, Generoso said. These include the Revenue Code, the Local Government Code, the Election Code, the Administrative Code.
“Once the system becomes fully operational, the regions will be fully equipped to function as constituent units of the federal republic – politically, administratively, and most of all economically,” Generoso said.
“As empowered ‘economic units’ of the national economy, they will be able to grow and contribute more to the national economy – expectedly in the medium-term onwards,” he said. /atm
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