Gov’t allocates P90-M for federalism info drive

MANILA The government has allocated around PHP90 million for its public information drive to explain the benefits the country will get under the proposed federal system of government, MalacaAang said on Thursday.

It was former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, chairman of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) that drafted the proposed federal constitution, who first bared that President Rodrigo R. Duterte will be forming a committee to teach people about federalism.

Puno said the federalism task force will be headed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Roque, for his part, confirmed that Duterte has already created an inter-governmental task force to spearhead the public information drive on federalism, which held a meeting earlier this week.

I can confirm that there is an inter-governmental task force created and we had met already. This was last, if I'm not mistaken, two days ago, Roque said in a press briefing in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Roque said the task force has identified an initial budget of PHP90 million for the dissemination of ConCom's draft proposal and also agreed on a strategy that would be taken.

Of this amount, PHP50 million will come from the ConCom's savings and additional PHP30 million will also be set aside for the expert panel.

Meanwhile, PHP10 million will go to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), which will be tasked to produce information drive materials.

Ang na-identify pa lang (What we have identified so far), to be candid about it, is an initial PHP40 million pero (but) PHP30 million lang ang pu-puwede gamitin (can only be used) because PHP10 million will go to PCOO, Roque said.

Roque, however, said that the ConCom is still assessing how it will be able to use the funds since August 19 will mark the end of the six-month term of the ConCom as prescribed under Executive Order No. 10.

And then apparently the Consultative [Committee] has savings of about PHP50 million but they're not sure how to spend it because matatapos na yung buhay ng Consultative [Committee] (life of the Consultative Committee will end) this August, Roque said.

They're finding a way to be able to use the remaining funds of the Consultative Committee for dissemination. So the initial amount that has been identified for dissemination is PHP90 million but PHP10 million will go to PCOO for production of materials, he added.

As for the strategy, Roque said that the task force intends to bring down the information drive to the barangay-level.

We will bring down our dissemination level to the level of the barangay, we will focus on training the trainers, and we will utilize mass media for this dissemination, Roque said.

Roque acknowledged survey results, which show that majority of Filipinos still did not know about federalism but stressed that the task force is ready to take on the challenge.

We repeat that the survey so far confirm that there's a need for dissemination in so far as it shows that an overwhelming majority still do not know anything about federalism. We have accepted the challenge and we will embark on this massive dissemination drive, he added.

A recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey said that only "one out of four (25 percent) Filipino adults nationwide (knew) about the federal system of government, while 75 percent learned about it only during the survey."

Meanwhile, another survey from Pulse Asia showed that 62 percent were not in favor of federalism, 28 percent were in favor, and 10 percent were uncertain.

ConCom senior technical assistant Ding Generoso said the ConCom will soon be putting up its own website and social media page to increase its presence on the internet. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency