The Philippines as well as most countries today are all facing Global Recession. Though it may not have a fixed definition it is defined as, the point where the global economic slowdown. This states that when the economic growth of a certain Country or the world is below 3%, it’ll be considered as Recession. In the year 1974, the New York Times article by Julius Shiskin suggested rules and basis to identify Recession, which included two successive quarterly declines in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Up until now, Global Recession still doesn’t have a definite meaning. 1 Experts from all over the world are trying to reach a solution to this crisis. Putting everyone else but us, the Philippines as a nation takes part to this catastrophe. The geography of the Philippines serves as a hindrance for quick development and allocation of services for the people. This setup has made the communication and the transfer of goods and services difficult to attain. Since all the goods and services must originate from the central government which is located in Manila.
Thus, resulting to slow progress of development, that is supposed to be done in a quick manner. Experts then proposed a solution to this by Decentralization. They believe that bringing the government closer to the people will result to a more productive and actively participating society that will later bloom into a good economic society, where in people will be able to enjoy all the goods and services made available to them by the government. After years some experts said that Federalism should be a good response to this dilemma.
The difference in the culture brought by the different people in different places will be resolved for this will bring the people together regardless of their religion and beliefs. They also claimed that with this response, the economic growth of the country will rapidly increase. Being under a democratic government, we should be able to tell what will be the possible results of the proposed solutions to this economic crisis we’re currently facing. We should be able to figure out what kind of government is best suitable for a country with a geography like the Philippines.
The first part of the paper is about the introduction of the Decentralization and the Federalism by the experts to the country. The second part of the paper will contain the findings about the 2 topics. The third part of the paper will contain my personal reaction towards the topic discussed in the previous part. The fourth part of the paper will contain the conclusion of the said paper. II Findings Being proposed as a solution for the economic issues as well as develop a more responsive and actively participating residents of the society, Decentralization played an important role.
Decentralization is the transfer of powers from central government (E. g Manila) to Lower level. It allows the participation of people and local government, also it gives up political, financial and administrative authority from central to local governments, so that the government will be able to facilitate and maximize the use of goods and services that will later on be available to the people. Decentralization has 3 components namely; (1) Political Decentralization, (2) Fiscal Decentralization, (3) Institutional Decentralization. Political Decentralization also called as Devolution.
Philippines, being an archipelago makes it hard to develop a well and good highly-centralized government to manage. This is a major leap to accord the gender-culture sensitive plans and budgets aswell. Devolution involves the transfer of the authority, power and responsibility of the national or central government to the local government or the lower level as written on the Local Government code. It also augments cooperation between executives, civil servants and citizens regarding the principles of good governance. It empowered Local Government Leaders to take greater control and responsibility over their territories.
It also entrusted powers from the National or Central Government to the Local authorities to handle their regions, for they are much familiar with their culture more than anyone else. Fiscal Decentralization the main objective of this component is to facilitate the local government on the use of their financial resources, in order to allocate the resources properly. Improved fiscal systems resulted to transparent improvement of tax revenues. It also improved the financial management in areas of exchange, formulating strategies for an improved business sector.
Institutional Decentralization is also known as Debureaucratization. It involves the restraining of private sectors and non-governmental organizations in the delivery of services through varies modalities. It focuses on training the staff of partner corporations, monitoring of the programs and projects implemented, and discuss the duties and responsibilities of government institutions may it be national or local. Some of the major impacts of ID are; it empowered the public and private sectors of different localities by conducting forums, workshops, seminars and etc.
Also, there are exchange of ideas and thoughts of the different chief executives, police and military and all the authority to attain peace and order within the community. 3 Federalism is one method of dividing up power in a country between the national and more local governments. For instance, in the U. S. , the federal (or national) government has certain powers, and the state governments have others. And this is explicitly laid out in the Constitution. It is also a proposed system of administration for the Philippines and a revision of the current 1987 Constitution.
Under Joint Resolution No. 10, proposed by senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. , the creation of eleven autonomous regions out of the Philippine Republic which would establish centers of finance and development in the archipelago. This Proposed bill was backed down by the 13 senators or also known as the Senate Majority. 4 The proposed states would have been Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Minparom (Mindoro, Palawan, and Romblon), Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas,Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao and Bangsamoro.
These would be similar to the US 50 states or German 16 States. Senator Aquilino Pimentel, the major proponent of move to change the Political system to Federal system, in the Philippines aims to attain economic development within the archipelago as fast as possible, that will be followed by increased local autonomy involving both the national and the local government. It also aims to ensure the long-lasting peace in Mindanao. I found out that Jose Abueva, a Political Scientist, proposed to transform the existing decentralized unitary system to a federal system by 2010.
This transition is composed of two phases in a span of ten years starting from year 2000 to year 2010. This allows the government to examine and respond to the constitutional change made. This is also to prepare the nation for a major change in the Political System. He also planned to amend the 14 administrative regions plus the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) into 10 larger regions giving them larger territories equipped with larger local economy that will sustain their needs. Jose Abueva even prepared a ten-year preparation plan for the transition of the Federal Government. III Reaction
Upon reading some reaction papers and essays as well as encyclopedias I came to realize that there are a lot of ways to deal with the economic condition of our country today. These ways had been introduced to us years ago, it’s just we’re not ready for a major change like these ones, so we kept on rejecting the possible solutions to our economic crisis today. Let’s try to find out what are the possible ways to deal with this. Decentralization the definition was stated on the other part of the paper, with the definitions given, I realized that there were advantages as well as disadvantages of the said way.
Advantages of Decentralization; Since we are an archipelago, a highly centralized government will be hard to develop, we need a local government that will enable the people with in the society to still actively and productively participate in the different programs and projects made possible by the local government. Decentralization also develops the cooperation of the citizen to the local government in order to maintain good governance. This also provide authorities that are familiar with the locals, traditions and culture of a certain place, which will be a great help in performing their duties.
Decentralization will also help the private firms and sectors in budgeting their financial income. This will provide the not only the private sectors but also the local government to use their financial resources properly. This includes their focus on training the staff of the partner corporation, while monitoring the available programs and projects that are implemented or will be implemented in the future. There will also be seminars that will help them improve their businesses and firms.
Lastly regarding the security within the community, there are chief executives sharing ideas with each other to contribute in the maintenance of peace and order within the society. Probably one of the disadvantages that decentralization has is that when people don’t actively participate with the local government, the purpose of the decentralizing the government will be pointless. Federalism. Advantages; Since the a state will be given its own government, the state will have more military power for it will not need a lot of armed forces to defend a single state.
There will also be uniform application of Law. There will be customary law applicable to your state that should be followed by the people within the state. There will also be localized decision making, the state can make a decision on their own. Regarding the division of work between the central and the regional government leads to optimum utilization of resources. The central government can concentrate more on the international affairs and defense of the country while the provincial government can cater the needs of the local government.
Also, it is nice to bring the government closer to the people, with this, citizens will tend to actively participate in the government projects and affairs within the state. Basic services and goods will be provided easily to the citizens. Thus, making the governance easier. Disadvantages of Federalism; Sharing of power between the center and the states includes both advantages and disadvantages of a federal organization. Sometimes there can be overlapping of work and subsequent confusion regarding who is responsible for what.
For example, when typhoon hits the Cebu (Let’s consider Cebu as a state) in 2010, there was a delay in rescue work as there was confusion between the state governments and the federal governments on who is responsible for the disaster management work. This might result into losing many lives. Another disadvantage of Federalism is that it promotes Regional Inequality. What is Regional Inequality? Natural resources, industries, employment opportunities and other economic related stuffs differ from one region to another. Hence earnings will are unevenly distributed.
This will just widen the gap between the rich regions and poor regions, since the rich regions are able to give more opportunities than of the poor regions. Federalism doesn’t solve Poverty. Why? During Policy Framing, they do not invite the masses, they only invite the intellectuals who are the same on their level. This will eventually lead to the unheard needs of the masses. Thus, yielding bad results on the Policy framing. Another disadvantage of Federalism is that it doesn’t comply with the aim of ending the war and establishing the long-lasting peace in Mindanao. Why?
Because the Moros want a separate nation, not a separate autonomy. V Conclusion On my point of view, the Philippines doesn’t need a change in government, all we need is to fortify our central government. Also, changing to a federal type of government is costly, I don’t think our country can afford the cost at the moment. We need to spend our financial resources properly to what the country really needs, like housing for the informal settlers, better classrooms, infrastructures and etc. Being one of the third world countries, I say, we’re not yet qualified or capable of changing our government to Federal government.