Binay softens stance on federalism, says he’s an ‘advocate of decentralization’
Vice President Jejomar Binay softened his stance on federalism and said he would focus on resolving the problems of decentralization in government first if he wins the 2016 elections.
During the forum “Kapihan at Pandesal” in Quezon City on Tuesday, Binay said his administration would prioritize on decentralizing government, or redistributing government powers away from the seat of power.
Decentralization is seen as the way to eliminate the perception that a so-called “Imperial Manila” controls most of the country’s affairs.
Binay said decentralizing government would then eradicate the need to resort to federalism.
“Marami pa namang dapat ipaliwanag sa pederalismo. You can be sure, I’ll see to it na mama-maximize yung sinasabi nilang decentralization… that will be preparatory sa matinding problema ng pederalismo… I am an advocate of decentralization, especially sa local governments,” Binay said.
“Kung mabibigyan ng kalutasan ang decentralization, wala nang magiging dahilan para maging federal ang Pilipinas,” he added.
Binay was a member of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP)-Laban until he left in 2014, citing disunity in the party.
Known for its stance on a federal style of government to resolve the Muslim secessionist movement in Mindanao, the PDP-Laban is the political party of hardcore federalist advocate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“Malaking bahagi ng pederalismo ay decentralization. Ang plano ko, i-maximize ang decentralization that will be preparatory sa programa ng pederalismo,” Binay said.
According to the Cornell University Law School website, federalism is a system of government under which the same territory is controlled by two levels of government.
Under the system, a national government takes charge of issues involving national concern, while smaller subdivisions govern local concerns. JE
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