Come up with solutions, not just problems, academics urged

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A THOMASIAN political scientist has urged political scientists to not only identify problems in society but offer solutions as well.

Speaking at the book launching of administration party PDP-Laban Federalism Institute’s “The Quest for Federal Republic: The PDP Laban Model of the Philippine Federalism,” Edmund Tayao highlighted the importance of putting theory into practice.

“As an academic, it’s important to understand the significance of transitioning from theory to practice. I’d like to emphasize […] that our work in political science is not only to explain. Our work is not only to find out what the problems ar[e]. Our work is essentially to find solutions to prevailing problems,” he said.

Tayao, who teaches in the University, took a swipe at those who oppose plans to shift to a federal type of government.

“It’s quite saddening that there are some who still continue to make an effort to mislead the people, suggesting that they have the monopoly of what is right and novel,” he said.

Tayao said federalism’s time has come in the country and the change it engenders is not merely “cosmetic.”

“The success of what we do cannot be because of us or anyone. It could only be because the people have come to the understanding, and most importantly, agreement that we can move forward to what we’ve always deserved—that is not only a country that is developed economically, but also [the] people,” he added.

Tayao was named by President Rodrigo Duterte last Jan. 24 along with 19 other experts to the 25-member charter change committee for the review of the 1987 Constitution.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, a contributor in the book, said federalism would not solve all of the country’s problems but would at least solve problems in its political and economic structure.

“Federalism will not solve all of the Philippines’s problems but it will solve the problems related to the structure,” he said. “[W]hat is important is we stick with the essence of federalism that there is a distribution of power,” he said.

Other contributors of the book were political scientists Eduardo Araral Jr., Ramon Casiple, Julio Teehankee, Alex Brillantes, Gary Olivar and Romulo Miral Jr., and lawyers Benedicto Bacani, Alberto Oxales and Orion Perez Dumdum.

PDP Laban Federalism Institute is a political group dedicated to the study, research and advocacy of federalism in the Philippines.

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