We need to speed up federalism: Andanar

MANILA -- Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Saturday said the Constitutional revision has to be done quickly to support the push for federalism, as President Rodrigo Duterte's term ends in four years.

"We have four years left. We need to speed up the legislation for federalism, so that we could fulfill the promise of President Duterte to us all," Andanar said in a speech during the Fed-Ibig ng Bayan sa Pagbabago Rally at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

Andanar said a federal government would give importance to other provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Federalism divides power between a strong national government and smaller local governments.

Saturday's rally was first of a series planned by the administration to promote its proposal for a change in government form.

"The President knows that if Fed-Ibig was launched in the center (Metro Manila), then it (federalism) is not impossible to be realized," Andanar said.

Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said during the event the Consultative Committee on Constitutional Amendment, which he heads, aims to complete crafting a report before the President's next State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July.

Duterte earlier said he wants to push federalism as he fears a war will break out in Mindanao if the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is not given autonomy.

Also, the President said the country's present unitary or presidential form of government impedes the development of the countrysides or the other parts of the country outside Metro Manila.

Source: Philippine News Agency