April 5, 2017, Filed under Banner News

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Lingayen – Thousands of local leaders, village chief and their council members convened at the Sison Auditorium on March 31 for the Provincial Summit on Federalism conducted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

 

Extending support for the conduct of the said activity, which is in line with President Rodrigo Roa Durterte’s backing up of a federal type of government, Governor Amado I. Espino, III bared that the federalism lecture is fitting opportunity for local leaders and village chiefs to expand their knowledge about federalism.

 

“The provincial government supports all programs of the national government, including his drive for federalism, which are being pushed by President Duterte,” Governor Espino said.

 

“This summit enlightens and gives us a clearer picture on what federalism may bring to provincial, city and municipal government units; to the various civil society organizations, and to the Pangasinenses in particular,” Gov. Espino said in a separate interview.

 

Highlighting the event was the signing of manifesto of support for Pres. Duterte’s flagship agenda to transition the country from Unitary – Presidential to Federal form of government as clearly expressed in his first State of the Nation’s Address.

 

Joining Governor Espino in leading the signing of manifesto of support were DILG Regional Director James Fadrilan, DILG Provincial Director Agnes de Leon, Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr., Liga ng mga Barangay Provincial Federation President Jeanne Jinky Zaplan and Engr. Roberto Gavina of Peoples’ National Movement for Federalism.

 

Chief executives, vice mayors and councilors from various towns, component cities and City of Dagupan also graced the activity to show support to President Duterte’s drive for the country to shift to a federal system of government.

 

A vital part of the present administration’s agenda for empowered governance, inclusive growth and countryside development, Federal form of government shall be presented as a systematic approach to intergenerational problems which include criminality, illegal drug trade, armed conflict, graft and corruption, poverty and the widening socio-economic gap among classes and the concentration of power.

 

Discussing points on federalism during the summit were Atty. Ailleen Grace Deticio, Chief of Staff of DILG Undersecretary for Operations John Castriciones and Engr. Gavina, who represented DILG Asst. Program Manager on Federalism, Dindi Tan.

 

The provincial government, for its part, has already mounted a provincial lecture on federalism held July 2 last year which had then University of the Philippines (UP) Vice President for Public Affairs and now Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Prospero E. De Vera, III giving an extensive explanation about federalism.

 

The said inaugural lecture of the Center for Pangasinan Studies which delved on “The Challenges and Opportunities for a Federal Philippines” was attended by participants from the bureaucracy, academe and private sectors.

 

Pending issues about federalism which include spheres of government; division of powers; division of resources; and entrenched and enforced constitution were also discussed and expounded further via a panel discussion, along with the discussion on the differences between unitary and federal systems of government.

 

/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca

 

 

 

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