Press Release
April 27, 2008


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today clarified that the presidential form of government will be retained under the proposal to federalize the country contained in a joint congressional resolution he has filed and supported by 11 other senators.

Pimentel said what the federal system seeks to replace is the existing unitary system which is characterized by the over concentration of powers in the national government.

"The present Constitution provides for a unitary system of government where the country's development programs are centrally determined, planned, funded and implemented by the national government in Manila," he said.

On the other hand, a federal system is one where the powers of government are delegated to, and exercised by, the federal states, enabling them to run their affairs with the least interference from the central or federal government.

"Apparently, there is some misconception that the adoption of a federal system will mean the phaseout of the presidential form and this is causing apprehensions on a lot of people, especially those who are intending to run for top government positions in the 2010 elections. But this is farthest from truth because the presidential set-up will be retained even we shift to a federal system," Pimentel said.

He pointed out that his resolution that not call for a shift from the presidential to a parliamentary form of government. He explained that his proposal pertains more to the sharing of powers between the central government and the subordinate states or local government units than to the sharing of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

In batting for federalism, Pimentel said "the highly centralized system of government has brought about spotty development of the nation where preferential treatment has been given to localities whose officials are friendly with or have easy access to the incumbent administration."

Under Joint Resolution 10, the federal republic will be composed of 11 component states (four in Luzon, four in the Visayas and three in Mindanao) plus Metro Manila which is envisioned to be the federal administrative region.

While Congress will be retained as the legislative branch of government, the Resolution calls for changes in the composition of the Senate. Thus, each federal state shall be represented by six senators elected by the qualified voters in state-wide elections. In addition, Filipino citizens overseas will be represented by nine senators elected by qualified voters working in foreign countries.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of not more than 350 members who shall be elected by legislative districts.

The resolution provides that the executive power is vested in the President. The President and Vice President shall perform such functions and duties as are lodged with their offices by the Constitution.

News Latest News Feed