Press Release
May 18, 2008


Instead of being concentrated in Metro Manila, the seats of power of the three major branches of government shall be dispersed among the three island-groupings of the Philippines.

This is one of the drastic changes contemplated if a federal system of government is adopted in the country as embodied under Joint Congressional Resolution 10 authored by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) and supported by 15 other senators.

The resolution provides that the executive department will hold office in the Federal Administrative Region of Metro Manila. The seat of the legislative department will be transferred from Metro Manila to Tagbilaran City in the Visayas. The judicial department will hold office in Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao.

"By doing so, the two other major geographical regions in the country - the Visayas and Mindanao - will now fully appreciate that they are important parts, not merely appendices, of the republic," Pimentel said.

The shift from the highly centralized unitary system to a federal system seeks to delegate or transfer substantial powers of government to the component federal states.

Thus, the federal states will be highly autonomous, by clothing them with the authority to chart and decide on their own affairs and utilize the resources at their disposal with the least interference from the central government.

Resolution 10 envisions the creation of 11 federal states: four in Luzon (Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Bicol and Southern Tagalog); four in the Visayas (Minparom, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas); and three in Mindanao (Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao and BangsaMoro).

Resolution 10 provides that executive powers shall be vested on the President. On the other hand, legislative powers shall be exercised at two levels - by the bicameral Congress and by the state legislatures.

The Federal Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) shall have exclusive jurisdiction over legislative matters pertaining to the following:

1. National security and defense.

2. The sole power of declare war by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

3. Foreign relations, including ratification of treaties.

4. Foreign trade but the States may enter into trade relations with other countries as specified under the power of the state legislatures.

5. Customs and quarantine.

6. Federal currency.

7. Immigration, emigration and extradition.

8. Inter-state commerce and trade.

9. Federal postal system and telecommunications.

10. Federal public works and infrastructure.

11. Federal air, sea and land transportation.

12. Intellectual property and copyright.

13. Meteorology and standards of weights and measures.

14. Grants-in-aid to states.

15. Federal census and statistics.

16. Loans to and from the republic.

17. Federal penal system.

18. Cloning, genetic research and engineering.

19. Settlement of territorial and other disputes among states.

20. Offenses defined in the Revised Penal Code and laws passed by Congress.

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