ISABELA, Negros Occ. — The draft federal charter submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte may face rough sailing in the Senate.
This was the observation of federalism advocate and Isabela town Mayor Joselito Malabor.
Malabor, who spearheaded the federalism movement in the province, said he is also happy that the President has finally approved the Federal Constitution drafted by a Consultative Committee.
The draft will be submitted to Congress for deliberations.
Malabor said he does not see any problem in the House of Representatives as majority of the congressional representatives is allied with President Rodrigo Duterte.
He pointed out that most of the senators “want to retain the old system where members of the Senate are elected at large”
Under the proposed federal system, senators are voted by federals states at two per state.
He also welcomed the inclusion of the island province of Siquijor into the proposed Negrosanon Federated Region (NFR).
“Siquijor will not have to go Cebu for their transactions with national agencies but instead go to Dumaguete City which is nearer,” Malabor said.
“We should thank the members of the Consultative Committee for being open-minded to the sentiments of the people during their consultations which resulted into the inclusion of 18 proposed federated regions from the original eight,” he added.
Malabor said the shift to federalism “is not constitutional change as others claimed but just amendments to the existing constitution.”
Federalism is also “beneficial to employees of national government agencies. They will not lose their jobs but in instead will just be assigned and absorbed to the federal agencies where they are residing,” he said.
“Another feature of federalism is that the governor of the federated region will be voted from the members of the federal assembly, a parliamentary form of government,” he also said.
“Our experience with the defunct Negros Island Region showed that projects are implemented faster,” Malabor said.
He said that NFR would likely have the same set up with NIR.