Shift to federalism won’t affect economy, Palace assures

MANILA MalacaAang clarified Friday that the shift to federalism will have no effect on the Philippine economy.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia warned that federalism could drain government finances and disrupt the infrastructure program.

Roque said we have already discussed and clarified the matter with Pernia.

The shift to federalism, we reiterate, would have no adverse effect on the Philippine economy. Our budget would remain the same, as identified national projects would be devolved and transferred to the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of local government units, Roque said in a statement.

These projects include maintenance of barangay roads and bridges, water supply services, barangay health centers and daycare centers, solid waste disposal system of municipalities, among others, he added.

Roque said the national government would still implement the Build, Build, Build infrastructure projects under the proposed federal system of government.

The role of the national government would be to continue to implement 'Build, Build, Build' projects and would hence be concentrated on policymaking, he said.

At least 79 flagship infrastructure projects have been lined up for implementation under the Build, Build, Build program from 2017 to 2022.

The Build, Build, Build projects have a total budget of PHP8 trillion.

Last week, the Consultative Committee (ConCom) submitted the draft federal constitution to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte has approved the draft federal Constitution in toto except for the transitory provisions.

After the President said he wanted the transitory provisions amended, the ConCom has modified the proposed charter's transitory provisions to facilitate the election of a transitory president and vice president, who will take over the government right after a new federal constitution is ratified.

Duterte is expected to endorse the draft to Congress on July 23 during his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have already received the copy of the draft federal charter from the ConCom. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency