BACOLOD City – The municipal government of Isabela, Negros Occidental will launch a massive education and information drive on federalism down to the barangay level.
Mayor Joselito Malabor told reporters that after the 3-day Municipal Convention, they will print educational materials for distribution to the 30 barangays.
Malabor said the drive will further educate locals on the nuances of federalism as gleaned during the first day of the convention.
The convention, the first of its kind to be conducted by a town in Negros Occidental, gathered 600 participants from town officials, municipal employees and barangay officials.
The gathering also endorsed on Sept 11, 2017 a resolution approved by the Sangguniang Bayan of Isabela supporting the shift to a federal form of government and the creation of the Federal State of Negros.
“Personally, I want the creation of the Federal State of Negros especially with the dissolution of the Negros Island Region (NIR),” Malabor stressed.
Malabor pointed out that under NIR, programs and projects are “100 percent accomplished.”
“It easier to do this if officials who need to sign documents are based here in the island,” he added.
He also said that federalism will empower local government units to “learn to generate local resources that will benefit their local government units.”
“This convention is the first step, the next phase is to go to the grassroots, to the level of the people. I am confident the people of Isabela will support federalism because this is for them,” Malabor said.
Mary Jane Locsin, a federalism advocate, said the realization of the Federal State of Negros will depend on the congressmen’s lobbying.
Locsin, convenor of Hublag Federalismo, was the guest speaker during the opening of the 1st Isabela Annual Municipal Convention on Sept 9, 2017.
She said Negrenses should lobby with their congressmen to fight for NIR under a federal state.
“This is the catch of a federal government. It will depend on the congressmen because they will make the amendments and will have a say on the shift of government. If you think NIR is capable in terms of economic, political and cultural aspects, then go to your congressmen and lobby for NIR,” Locsin said.