Friday, January 26, 2018

Ilocos Sur mayor pushes for federalism

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

Narvacan, Ilocos Sur—Over 1,500 participants attended a federalism summit held in an open court of this town’s municipal hall.

Highlighting the advantages of a federal form of government which gives more power to the provinces outside Metro Manila through the so-called “bottoms-up decision making and no-nonsense leadership”, the local government unit of Narvacan led by their mayor Zuriel Zaragoza hosted the summit in support of President Duterte’s advocacy to implement real change.

Mr. Zaragoza said decentralization and devolution of powers and authority from the national government to the local government units is better to enable local government units to become self-reliant, thus making them an effective partner in the attainment of national goals and in nation building.

He reiterated this we can only achieve this through timely transition from the present form of government to a federal one.

Citing the top four agenda of the Duterte administration such as anti-criminality and corruption, rule of law, peace and order, and poverty alleviation, Usec. Joel Egco, executive director of the Presidential Communications Operations Office urged Ilocos residents to support the president for “he is our last card, our last hope” to achieve change.

As a former activist himself, Mr. Egco said it is only under the Duterte administration that he felt the sincerity of a leader to implement change.

Expressing support to a revolutionary government towards federalism, Elmer Bumanglag, 58, of Brgy. Napo in Badoc, Ilocos Norte said he believes it will do more good for the common people if we give the country a chance for a new form of government.

“I like it because it will benefit my future generation. With federalism, all regional states will have their own set of governance and the 80% of the taxation will remain at the local level and the 20% will go to the national level. If this will push through, corruption will be eliminated,” said Mr. Bumanglag as he joined other members of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur during the federalism summit.

For a young farmer-engineer John Lei Ganiron of Batac City, he said federalism could probably be the Filipino’s “last hope to solve corruption and the many ills of the government today”.

“We need one supreme power from a leader who knows how to lead the country in the right way. We trust our leader [Duterte] and we are confident he can make it for the common good,” Mr. Ganiron said.

The first of a kind federalism summit in the second district of Ilocos Sur is also meant to kick off the week-long celebration of the bagnet festival of Narvacan in time for the town’s 141st foundation anniversary.

Other undersecretaries of the national government also joined the summit which include Mr. Egco, Emily Padilla for Legislative Liaison and Special Concerns of the Department of Interior and Local Government and Virginia Orogo for special concerns of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office.

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