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Con-com brings talks to Baguio

Jaimes R. C. Sumbilon

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“Federalism is about power-sharing and discourages monopoly.”

In a bid to clear the misconception that Federalism would somehow erase the current constitutional provision for self-governing regions like the Cordillera, the Consultative Committee (Con-com) holds its Pederalismo Serye meeting in Baguio City today.

“Federalism, in essence, is about empowering the regions and this, I believe, would give a certain level of autonomy not just to the Cordillera region, but to the other regions in the Philippines as well,” DILG Assistant Secretary for Communication and Public Affairs Jonathan Malaya said in a statement yesterday.

“The future of the Cordillera region will be tackled during DILG’s dialog with multi-sectoral groups. So let us all take part in the roadshow to know more about the form of autonomy that constitutional reform will give to the Cordillera,” he added.

Malaya said local officials and other stakeholders of the Cordillera region have been appealing to Congress to give life to the constitutional provision on its autonomy.

“This is why the DILG is reaching out to the regions. We need to know their concerns and, at the same time, correct the misunderstandings about Federalism,” Malaya said.

Creation of autonomous regions for minority groups in the Cordillera and Muslim Mindanao is provided under Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution.

Meanwhile, the DILG official refuted the claim of some critics that constitutional reform will be used by politicians to push their own agenda.

“Federalism is about power-sharing and discourages monopoly. In fact, the Anti-Dynasty and electoral provisions will encourage more people to run for elections,” Malaya said.

Con-com, a body created by President Rodrigo Duterte to study proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution, is on a race against time to finalize the draft model before the Chief Executive’s State of the Nation Address next month.

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