This year’s APPC, which has the theme “Critical Perspectives on Federalism for Regional Development”, aims to gather different analyses and insights on federalism from the country’s most prominent scholars and experts of political science, public administration, governance, and public finance.
“It is worth recalling our history to remind us why we are all here today. Since the Spanish period, Manila has served as the country’s seat of economic and political power. Some Filipinos, especially those living in the Visayas and Mindanao, have blamed such concentration of power as the main driver of the uneven development in the country today, and have called for a more even sharing of power, resources and governmental responsibilities,” said PIDS President Gilberto Llanto in his opening remarks.
Llanto stressed that it is important for the Philippines to carefully examine the possible implications of shifting to federalism using a multidisciplinary lens and to take into account the country’s political, economic, social, and historical context.
Zamboanga City – As debates on federalism intensify, state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) cautions advocates and critics alike to have a careful deliberation before deciding on this major agenda.
“While federalism will eventually be a political process, it should first be anchored on a non-partisan, objective, and scientific study to achieve its goals and desired outcomes,” said PIDS Vice President Marife Ballesteros, who represented President Gilberto Llanto during the recently concluded 3rd Mindanao Policy Research Forum held in Zamboanga City.
Ballesteros expressed the need for the Philippine government to design its own decentralized form of government.
“We (can) learn lessons from other federal systems but we cannot just copy from them. The design has to be creative, contextual, and uniquely Filipino,” she urged.
Meanwhile, Secretary Datu Abul Hj. Khayr Alonto of the Mindanao Development Authority recommended the immediate adoption of federalism to resolve conflict in Mindanao.
As debates on federalism in the country heat up, state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) makes it one of the main topics of its Development Research Policy Month (DPRM) celebration this year.
Pursuant to Proclamation No. 247 issued in 2002, PIDS has been designated as lead agency in the annual celebration of the DPRM every September to promote the significance of evidence-based research in program planning and policymaking.
This year’s DPRM theme is “Strengthening Decentralization for Regional Development” or “Pagpapatibay ng Desentralisasyon Tungo sa Kaunlarang Panrehiyon” to emphasize the need for in-depth reflections and evidence-based analyses not just on federalism but also on decentralization reforms in general.
During the 3rd Mindanao Policy Research Forum, which is one of the activities lined up for the DPRM, held at the Ateneo Zamboanga de Zamboanga Auditorium on September 7 (Thursday), PIDS’ public finance expert Rosario Manasan presented the findings of her study on the possible fiscal impacts of shifting to a federal form of government.