AN ECONOMIST has blamed well-entrenched political families for their incompetence in allocating economic resources and causing high poverty rates in the country.
“The [resources] are not evenly allocated to the poor but are distributed to families of the political clans,” said Ronald Mendoza, dean of the Ateneo School of Government, in a forum at the Ateneo de Manila last Feb. 21.
“Hindi naka-target sa kahirapan, naka-target sa mga kamag-anak nila because of this poverty is barely changing,” he said.
Despite this, Filipinos continue to vote for public officials who fail to propose and implement development policies in local governments.
Federalism, a solution?
Former Pangasinan governor Victor Agbayani put forward federalism as a solution to the inefficient distribution of the national budget in the national and local governments.
“Maybe federalism would be a solution because the dysfunction in local government that we see is also happening in the national government and there is a lot of fat in the national budget that is not used efficiently,” Agbayani said.
Former senate president Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. proposed an equalization fund to support underdeveloped states once federalism is implemented in the country.
“When we revise the constitution, put a specific provision, creating an equalization fund which will be supported by all federal states and by the national government,” Pimentel said.
Pimentel, a staunch supporter of federalism in which the country will be divided into about a dozen autonomous states, earlier said the Philippines should have its own model of federalism.
The shift to a federal form of government would require an overhaul of the 1987 Constitution, through a constitutional convention, constituent assembly or people’s initiative.
The series of talks, titled “Federalism and Political Dynasties: Options and Insights” and “#Federalism101: What the Millennials Need to Know,” were organized by the Ateneo School of Government and German foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.