ConCom to meet with economic leaders next week

MANILA The Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution is set to meet with economic managers and political analysts next week to hear their thoughts on the financial and political considerations for the creation of federated regions under a federal system.

What we want to hear from the economic managers first, ask if the formula we are developing is valid and acceptable and if there's anything it lacks, ConCom member and professor Edmund Tayao said in a press conference at the PICC on Wednesday.

Tayao, chairman of ConCom sub-committee on the creation and structure of the sub-national governments, earlier announced that the panel has adopted the term federated regions in the new charter it will be proposing.

He pointed out that federated regions should be in a good position to start off economically.

However, Tayao said that the sub-committee has yet to decide on the number of federated regions to be proposed as it is still subject to deliberation and validation for economic viability and sustainability.

The ConCom's technical working group recently met with representatives of government think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), which has warned that a shift to federalism at this time could worsen regional inequality.

PIDS noted that existing highly imbalanced and inequitable political and economic development among regions, provinces, and cities across the country made the shift to a federal form of government risky.

Tayao, however, expressed optimism that next week's meeting will try to convince the PIDS otherwise.

We made a formula, there's a model, we're going to defend it from expertsIf they say it's not time, we could consider putting the framework in place but forming the federal setup will definitely take time, Tayao said.

ConCom Senior Technical Assistant and spokesperson Ding Generoso said that invited in next week's meeting are Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Undersecretary Laura Pascua, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Undersecretary Gil Beltran, National Economic Development Authority Director General Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Undersecretary Rolando Tungpalan, and PIDS President Celia Reyes.

The adoption of a federal form of government is one of President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign promises expected to solve problems of poverty, inequality, and instability in the country. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency