Functional Federalism and the OFW Nation

Functional Federalism 01

Sugbu (SUG) Federation flag, one of many designs presented by Bagong Republika ng Pilipinas

We often think of federalism as a division of the nation into major geographic areas, each with considerable autonomy in how it is run.

Under federalism, several broad geographic regions within the Philippines would be responsible for their own economic and social well-being. They would raise taxes and spend them, and handle infrastructure, education, and social services. The National government would be shrunk to hold responsibility only for the overarching matters like defense, national financial affairs, foreign affairs, and perhaps utilities (broadband services, electricity). The carving would be intricate and intense. It would likely make the arguments over the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) seem petty.

But really, federalism is just how you divide power. Normally, it is envisioned as geographic, but it does not have to be. At least that will be my argument here.

We actually have a version of federalism now that is class based where the rich and entitled have different powers than the poor. The powers of the poor are to receive freebies like CCT grants or hospital care or contraceptives, if senators are not so cruel as to remove funding for them. The rich and entitled have the power to sue for libel and get divorces because the common man can’t afford the legal barriers to “justice”. Some among the entitled can do just about anything they want, as long as they don’t get caught.

So we are a nation of power-blocs, essentially. That is the current federated state. The LGU heads . . . mayors and governors . . . collectively represent a bloc granted considerable power. Look at how rich and entrenched the dynastic barons have become with the powers granted them. Look at the number of minions doing services on their behalf, both within government and without.

The laws may not explicitly recognize these stratifications as federated states, but the laws do functionally allocate powers differently to different groups.

We can also consider OFW’s as a functional power group. This group is spread out around the world, but speaks almost as a voice of one when there are problems with bullets in bags or a proposal to raise fees on balikbayan boxes. Filipino OFWs gather as sub-communities within the nations were they reside, and, although many become citizens of the lands where they work, the Philippines is home. It is the homeland. There is unity to that.

The Philippines has developed a significant organization in support of OFW’s within the Department of Labor and Employment:

The only thing missing is a formal government that ties it all together. Missing is representation in the Legislature and the authorities that accompany self-management, as laid out in the BBL, for instance.

So this illustrates that power need not be distributed only along traditional geographic lines. And it raises the interesting question, “Can we create a Functional Federation of the Philippines”? How would be divide the functions to have clear separating borders and the kind of cohesion that would support a vibrant, modern, growing nation? It has to include all citizens of the nation.

Here’s one idea about how to establish a governing framework based on functions:

  • OFWs. The groups is comprised of all Filipino citizens who reside outside the Philippines, including dual citizens if they register. The government is headquartered in the Philippines.
  • Large corporations: The oligarchs and officers of large corporations would be put in one group, with their powers to influence confined. That is, constrained. Companies in the functional class would be identified by name. The people in this class would be barred from financing elections held in other functional groups. They would have designated representatives in the national Legislature. They would make their own ethical and competitive limits under a framework of commerce provided by National that prohibits over-concentration of resources. This function would be put in place to contain, restrain, and organize large commercial resources in a healthy way, and to end dominance of corporate money over the well-being of the entire nation. Corporate officers would belong to this group and no other.
  • Legal officers: Law firms, attorneys and judges. This group, too, would have its own rules, funding mechanisms, and ethical standards. It would be separated from the political influences of various interest groups. Justice would be independent. The most capable of the class would be promoted to judicial positions.
  • Mass media: Media owners, publishers, producers, editors and reporters. This class, too, would be separated from political influence to and from other functional groups. It’s sole reason for being would be the responsible and thorough dissemination of information. The group would be funded in part by advertising revenue, in part by subscription fees, and in part by National budget allocation to the group’s governing body. It would be up to the mass media functional group’s leaders to work out how National’s funding would be distributed.
  • Religious leaders: Leaders of all churches, but not the members of congregations. The establishment of a governing body for religions would ensure a unity among interests that typically are competitive or divisive. It would require that they establish ethical guidelines that solve the problem of doctrinal conflict, and end the artificial and often violated barrier between religion and state.
  • Education, science and technology leaders: All teachers, professors, and Department of Science and Technology officials. The mandate would be to increase the knowledge and technological abilities of all Filipino students, promote critical thinking, and generate a strong sense of nationhood built upon high ethical principles.
  • Military and police: All members of the AFP and PNP. The leadership of this functional group would unify training and end the duplicate and competitive conflicts witnessed in Mamasapano. The members would be separated from any and all political influences and would focus specifically on providing sophisticated and powerful security for the nation. Funding would come from National based on assessments levied against other functional groups.
  • National Government: All elected, appointed and hired employees of the National government. This group would end the duplications of functions that now exist and trim the bureaucracy. It would assure that ethical mandates are firm and unbending and no crooks or former crooks are employed within its ranks. Revenue would come from fees for services.
  • Local Government: All elected, appointed and hired employees of Local government units. “Sister City” programs would be outlawed, for they form a private interest group. But all local officials and workers would have representation in the National government.
  • The People: All those not included in any other functional class, organized into three geographies, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Each geography would have representatives in the National government.

A National Governing Council (NGC) would be formed. Its membership would include two representatives elected from each functional group. In our alignment of functions, there would be 24 council members representing the various groups. The NGC would elect the President of the Philippines from within its own membership.

The functional alignment would require the creation of a national ID, based originally on the Voters ID with its biometrics and other data, as a way to assign each and every Filipino citizen to a functional class. The rules for class assignment would be simple and clear and the changing of functional class would be easily accomplished at the initiative of the individual citizen.

You may think this idea is “out of the box”, but it is not. It is corporate. And it is structured to move toward specific goals: health, wealth, knowledge, fairness and opportunity.

The beauty of the arrangement is the ending of vested interests controlling the nation and ignorance playing a prominent role in voting. The beast is getting it done because the existing Constitution would have to be done away with.

The fun would be in the crafting of governing bodies for each functional class and figuring out financing mechanisms that would fairly allocate money generated and dispersed.

Perhaps you have some ideas as to how this crafting might be done.


84 Responses to “Functional Federalism and the OFW Nation”
  1. eag97a says:

    That’s a very detailed proposal for a different kind of federalism. When you mentioned that the rich have different powers (political) from the poor I’m reminded of how the Roman Republic was constituted back then when the rich and upper classes have a greater amount of voting power than the proletariat. I’m more inclined to believe that our festering Bangsamoro and NPA problem is rooted more on the power struggle among their different factions and playing off the different LGU’s and national government in their pursuit of political and by extension economic power for themselves under the guise of religious and ideological differences. I just remember the long history of peace initiatives the national government has undertaken together with the MNLF, MILF, NPA etc. Complex topic but at the end of the day an economic and access issue.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, on economic and access. But I’d say also there are unity and sense issues. How to end the cycles of dysfunction and complaint, founded on economic and emotional need and a great deal of misinformation . . . and get on with productivity.

  2. Bill in Oz says:

    Joe, I am what you propose..I think that you do not clearly recognise what type of political system exists here and that leads you astray.

    In theory the Philippines is a democracy. But in reality it is something else.

    In reality the Philippines is a ‘feudocracy’..Hereditary families in each province control the major economic & political resources in every province. Elections are held but these serve basically to confirm this hereditary control The actual situation where power changes to another group are very rare.

    We are accustomed to think that a feudal system is all about titles like princes and dukes and barons etc ..The titles don’t exist in the Philippines but the feudal system does. And it was inherited and reinforced by the Spanish and the Americans.

    Implicit in the concept of democracy is the idea that the elected rulers serve the people. We all know that is not the case here.

    So how to encourage a transition to a democracy ? I think a Federal system would help. if the ruling families put in the position of competing with each other for popular support.

    • Joe America says:

      Hahahaha, Bill, I’ve been here 10 years studying the political system here and writing about it. Show a little respect, eh? I did not go astray. I wrote a hypothetical for the consideration of readers who want to think through whether or not the Philippines is suited to democracy. Just deal with the proposal and don’t comment on my motives or mental state in writing the piece.

      • Sup says:

        the Philippines is a ‘feudocracy’….. fraudecrazy………sound more like it…..

        • Joe America says:

          It is that, aspiring to be a nation. But the provinces don’t really have much say in things done nationally, nor the cities. They just lord it over their empires. They are just another LGU. Not like American States that have a lot of say in things. That’s why there is a push for federalism, because the provinces are impotent. My proposal just cuts the power matrix functionally instead of geographically.

  3. The idea is beautiful in the sense that it just overlays on what we have albeit informally.

    It formalizes the power relations and tries to make it work better.

    But frankly this is a no go.

    • Joe America says:

      Right, because it would take a revolution to get there. It basically eliminates the force of an uninformed, emotional class selecting the President and gives everyone a more limited role in selecting their representatives who will then select the President.

      If the broad voting population suddenly takes it upon themselves to be informed and rational, then “no worries”. But as it is, we can expect to rotate through a lot of popular personalities who fall way short at being sophisticated managers. It is also a way to get businessmen into the presidency, or someone other than recycled lawyers who somewhere along the way lost their way.

      • gian is right in a sense that the PH multi-party system has similarity to what you are proposing. It opens governance to other segments of the society which may break the endless cycle of Filipino career politicians and dynasties.

        Rumor has it that the surefire way to make easy money in perpetua in PH is to ingratiate oneself to the politically connected as a gateway into an appointed or elected office. On reflection, I see some presidential candidates got where they are this way. Looks like meritocracy is badly needed in PH. The “it’s who you know, not what you know” mindset is so passé.

        What is your impression of the multi-party system? Does it work as intended in PH?

        • Joe America says:

          That’s true, I suppose. The multi-party system, though, is driven from the bottom up by vested interests who can gather enough fans and meet the qualification criteria. Plus there are a zillion of them, so the voice of each interest is diluted. It provides a lot of odd-ball representatives, it seems to me, but I’m not really expert on it. The proposal is top down to make sure key components have a say, and that say from each comment is about 1/12 of all who speak on the National Committee. For geographic areas, it is 3/12. There aren’t as many interests directly represented, but those that are do run government. I do dislike the multi-party system because the winning presidential candidate seldom has a majority and a national mandate. So support for him/her is weak.

          • eag97a says:

            Obviously no political system will be perfect but I’m more in favor of limited reforms specifically changing the voting system from first past the post system to a form of ranked voting/preferential voting like the Borda count. We already have an imperfect weeding system for nuisance candidates and with the Borda count candidates will be forced to court outside their core supporters and will need to build a more consensus-based platform to stand a chance of winning. It doesn’t matter if you are leading the surveys if you consistently alienate the other voters you will lose voting points. It’s a very interesting voting system and it could potentially help in nation building.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    It is not a matter of not getting caught anymore.Rich or poor do not care if their video goes viral.
    But still the poor goes to jail and the rich will lawyer up and may or may not go to jail.

  5. karlgarcia says:

    large corporations no longer holds politicians necks or stranglehold. More laws will be filed and passed.Independent candidates can not solicit funds..
    Maybe less turncoatism.

    • Joe America says:

      That’s interesting. I had not thought through the matter of political parties. Essentially, they would have to have a presence in each of the various federated states. They would only have a hand in electing the President if they dominated among the reps voted in by the states. Independent candidates might have a shot at slots. That is worth putting on the check board for more noodling.

  6. The is composed of seven members who collectively ARE the head of state – one is President for each year, all decisions are by consensus.

    If there were something similar in the Philippines, one from each group would be up there and they would be FORCED to form a consensus, nobody could escape collective responsibility.

    Will comment further once I have read the article more thoroughly…

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, indeed, it would be a collective responsibility, as the Board of Directors cannot deny outcomes anywhere in the corporation. Their job is to make people accountable, not shirk it. I look forward to your further reflections.

  7. Kanto Boy says:

    If I am not mistaken, I think this structure is called caste system.

    • madlanglupa says:

      The pre-British Indian caste system is different, in that the upper class — the Brahmin — have more privileges than the “untouchables”; hence this system is what Gandhi tried to obliterate by advocating more power to the lower classes.

      Here, based from what I read, each class have to be balanced equally against the others while having a vis-a-vis symbiosis, instead of an Indian-style caste hierarchy; the classes should have limitations in place, the checks and balances, to prevent one class from having more power over the others.

      • Joe America says:

        Sweeeeeet! That’s exactly what I thought I wrote. heh heh

        Every federated state is equal to any other. A farmer in Leyte is just as involved as a businessman in Makati. Each selects two reps. Each state would be wise to select reps who can advocate well for their interests.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        There is guaranteed “Harijan” representation in the Indian House of Representatives and in th civil service.But it has notmade a lot of difference. 30-40 Million ‘untouchables’ have converted to Buddhism to try and escape being classed as untouchable..Millions of others have become Christian. But this has not really worked either to change the Hindu population ‘s concept of caste. The Buddhists are just “Budhist untouchables” and the Christian converts in some areas are atatcked by Hindu ultra nationalists

    • chempo says:

      Haha Kanto …when I was reading half way through the article, ‘caste system’ immediately came to my mind, then reading down the comments and see yours…

  8. Bill in Oz says:

    We are talking about a “Functional Groups’ government. It is not a democracy or intending to try to be a democracy.

    I am still perplexed.The role, nature, function of media is to influence, entertain the people.Even if Oz where we have 2 networks that are not dependent on advertising ( being publicly funded ) there are entrenched groups with particular ideologies & world views that are constantly trying to form ( not inform ) public opinion.

    A similar comment can be made about the corporate sector : they exist to sell products and that is done by forming the public’s view of a company and it’s products….

    In fcat each of these functional groups has a message to sell..And depending how sucessfull they are would depend how much influence and power & money they acquire..

    I see no way past this

    PS : Feudocracy is my own newly made up word..I was hoping for soem feedback about that idea..

    • Joe America says:

      All the functions have an important part to play. Media are rather like a corporation’s PR department, on steroids. Corporations are like manufacturing and distribution, united to produce product efficiently and profitably. The more money they make, the better. They’d be taxed fairly. Or, in a corporate sense, the revenue would be allocated to cover expenses elsewhere in the national corporation. Different functions in well-run corporations fit together. They are either revenue or cost generators. They each have their unique function.

      One ought not restrain one’s thinking by trying to relate it to other forms of government, but to reflect on whether or not it solves the flaws of Philippine governance. It is built specifically to solve the problem of a broad, uninformed population that tends to organize things by personality. Presumably each functional group would want competent people representing them on the national committee, not actors and boxers.

    • eag97a says:

      Hi Bill just my 2 cents IMO your concept is a variant and hybrid of the oligarchical and aristocratic form of government with a veneer of democracy which has its roots from classical antiquity (Rome and Greece). One major difference is the richest Romans have more voting power than the proletariat due to the nature of their voting system.

  9. Joe, your proposal is excellent… it has occured to me that Germany selects its President similarly.

    But that person should ONLY be should be two senators selected every year by the Senate itself, similar to the rotation in the Swiss Federal Council and consuls of the year that the Roman Senate of old elected… the Senate would have MORE responsibility with that…

    Another additional change could be to elect two Senators per region, so that every region has a FACE… since the Philippines is still personalistic, this would give every place two proud faces.

    Three people would therefore have the collective responsibility for national leadership… the President would especially have the right to sign laws and veto them… and the face for abroad, the king of the nation… but the real business of government… would be a Senatorial thing. SPQR!

    • Joe America says:

      Terrific. I only had three geographic regions because I wanted the functional areas to have a real say in governance, rather than the total geographic selection system now, which is influenced (too often by corruption) by people from the other functional areas. Also, I wanted to keep the national committee small. They’d probably put in place an “executive committee” to run the day to day affairs of state.

    • uht says:

      Wonderful idea. Having two senators seems like a good way to solve our representation problems. The head of government though should be one senator and the head of state three people representing Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (they cannot make any decisions except in consensus). However, the collective head of state must have as much actual (in practice) power as the head of government, or else people will see them as mere figureheads not worth serving….

  10. @Joe: “Be cool.” Bikol! Bert, Will and me will always be cool because we are Bikolanos. 🙂

  11. chempo says:

    Joe, your functional divisions bears a very close resemblance to the Social System (Structural Functionalists) of Talcott Parsons.

    Of course you are only setting out a conceptual idea. The political goal of “the ending of vested interests controlling the nation and ignorance playing a prominent role in voting” is theoretically workable in this model. On the other hand, an equitable formula for the allocation of resources under this model is an impossibility.

    Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s a class system based on functionalities. Communism has only 2 classes — the apparachiks and the proletariats and of course there is no democracy (one man one vote). So functional federation has many classes with democracy and each class will throw up leaders to the Federal govt. Problem with class divisions is there will always be class struggles which often rips a society apart. Each class will clamour for more resources on the basis of the utilitarian value of their function. The PNP will say they maintain law and order, farmers will say without us the nation will go hungry, I don’t know what lawyers will say, etc…

    The nation will be like body parts, each thinking they are more important.
    The eyes say they are most important, without us you can’t see.
    The mouth says without me you can’t eat.
    The hands say without us you can’t do anything.
    The legs say hey I’m made for walking, take you places
    The brain says no no no, I’m most important of all.
    When the arse began to say “I am most important” — all the others started laughing..
    So the arse shut-up for a day, 2 days, and next several days it remained shut….
    Soon the eyes turned hazy and started rolling,
    The mouth could’nt take in any more food
    The hands began to tremble
    The legs were wobbling
    The brain turned toxic and groggy…
    They finally agreed the arse is the most important part of the body.

    • Joe America says:

      I must say, I don’t see the class distinction. How does a corporation have different classes in a functional organization. In my scenario, every function has two representatives who sit on the “Board of Directors”. I’ve worked in a corporate environment where there are those political and personality games played – we are human, after all – but I’ve also worked in a regime that did not have them (Japanese management). The goal should be to get everyone oriented toward the same goals, every function critical because the nation can’t function without their important role. I’m sorry. I don’t see the classes.

  12. chempo says:

    I’m just wondering about actual physical difficulties, just how to present a venn chart incorporating the functional groups and federal services. eg, 3 guys from different functions walk into a bar, how are you going to split the VAT. For each function to get organised would itself offer tremendous difficulties of space, voting would be most problematic.

    Conceptually it sounds interesting, but I fear it can’t get past physical impediments.

  13. caliphman says:

    Ever had those nightmares of being on the railroad tracks at night facing the light of an oncoming train waving your arms but it wont stop and you cant move away? The PA poll was taken before the rape joke became public but the mother of all political nightmares, Duterte and Marcos in the pinnacles of power, is very much a reality. Nows not the time to rest or pause.

    • I think Roxas’ 35% in the Visayas is key here for the home stretch,

      These accounts, withdrawal of Duterte support should be made viral,

      “A friend of mid just withdrew his support from Duterte and now promoting Miriam instead after an embarrassing moment during a break at his workplace in Oz. The story started when an Aussie asked him if he knows Dutz, so he went on with his promotional lines but after a brief pause the Aussie asked him “what’s wrong with this guy?” as he showed him a clip from an Australian news outfit. That was when he first learned of ‘dapat mayor ang nauna’ statement.”

      “My gut feel tells me we are about to see some significant, if not dramatic rise in Roxas’ figures in the next round of surveys. The silent majority has bern roused and if you have been tuned in to social media this last couple of days, you probably would have seen as well a growing number of Filipinos coming out from the shadows and now openly expressing support for Mar Roxas. When before, it almost seemed embarassing to trumpet support for the guy, risking ridicule and contempt from one’s friends, I think people have become emboldened and now feel it their responsibility to come out and speak up.”

      Ireneo (and gian),

      If you can find many more of these testimonials of once pro-Duterte supporters turned Mar Roxas supporter, or just NO Duterte, share ’em here and spread ’em. Preferably Visayans 😉

      • The ones sold with Duterte’s supposed Warrior (Hero) archetype, simply break down his Hero persona… But the gamblers (those gambling that Duterte will prove balance positive than negative), are a lot trickier to convince, but I think their gambit all hinges (is based) on the Warrior archetype,

      • That’s the idea I guess.
        I’ve been mocked by a friend that It seems I am using MLM techniques. Lot’s of testimonials. I quipped. The electorate is not voting with their heads. Other wise I wouldn’t even have to do anything.

        • I had to look up MLM techniques, but yeah that’s it. Focus on Visayans, and Mindanaoan, gian.

          • Ireneo shared this.
            I’ll share it again because it is very effective. I think this connected to both OFW readers and people who owe their good lives to OFW or OFW sacrifice in the past:

            From our inbox:

            Sir, I am Filipino working here in Australia. Many of us OFWs who work for the same company live in a company-provided apartment complex here and there’s a group of around 10-15 OFWs from Mindanao who are rabid Duterte supporters, they are very mayabang and even bullied another OFW who openly said that he is against Duterte, they hang Duterte posters over the railings and wear Duterte shirts all the time, but when Duterte’s bad-mouthing the Australian rape victim reached here, the Duterte fans removed their posters and stopped their noisy gatherings but its too late – the owner of the company we’re working for is a very devout Christian and she felt insulted by Duterte’s comments against her fellow Aussie, our supervisor already told us today that the contracts of all of us 50 Filipino workers will no longer be renewed, that we will be replaced by Pacific Islanders. Sampu lang yung mga Duterte fans sa grupo namin pero damay kami lahat dahil sa kabastusan ng iniidolo nila. I earn 80,000 pesos equivalent dito at 3 kapatid pinapa-aral ko diyan sa Pilipinas. frown emoticon Dont mention my name admin.

          • Also, you guys should be hammering on Duterte’s daughter’s rapist. Did this happen in Davao? What did Duterte do? Who ‘s the rapist? Did the Hero shine? What did the Hero do? etc. etc.

  14. caliphman says:

    Joe, thats a version of federalism from what I have come across before. I am no political scientist but I firmly believe the success of any form of government will depend on the quality of of its leadership. So many of the blog articles here lament that in the Philippines, its current system is not conducive or antithetical to producing leaders who want and can effect changes at all levels of government. There have in the past proposals for a parliamentary or other forms of government which would have had questionable success because the make up of our society in the way leaders are chosen and remain in power remain unaltered. Thus the basic premise in your proposal that federalism along functional lines will be beneficial because it can disrupt this process and change it for the good. But therein is the very heart of the issue, will a change in the form of government cause a change in the social, cultural, and other institutional processes that have resulted in clan politics and dynasties dominating the leadership ranks under any form of government? It may be the different last names or clans, and even if there are new faces not associated with these dynasties, it may not be any better as the Binays and Marcoses have unfortunately proven.

    • The problem is the people voting the wrong representatives…

      Even the focus on the President is so wrong… hoping Duterte will fix things magically and then vote the same mayors, governors etc. who did not do anything about things again..

      • in the local elections vote buying is rampant

        • DAgimas says:

          if there is no IRA and LGUs have to raise their own revenue and have specific services to implement like policing, basic education, will politicians still die to run for office?

          they will tax their own fellow residents to be able to pay themselves salaries and if the residents are too poor or they don’t see any tangible results, I think they will lynch these politicians

          • The only thing I can think of is that during the post war era there were no IRA and everything was from Imperial manila. I think we are underestimating the allure of power and what can be done with it.

            • DAgimas says:

              I remember that too, no IRA, but there was no money to steal too. and the LGUs have to work hard to be able to stand on their own. its still centralized but at least they have to raise their own revenue and pay for their own police. they also pay for their own high school before. that’s why high school were only in the provincial capitals

              now the national govt still pays for everything and still give money to these lazy LGUs without having to pay for police and education.

              very lucky

        • Waray-waray says:

          @Giancarlo not just rampant but in local elections, IMO vote buying is the norm.

          A nephew is running his 3rd term as mayor in my father’s hometown. I spoke to the mayor’s sister that we heard black propaganda against her brother straight from the rival candidates mouth. The rival candidate happens to be a relative and a brother’s classmate since kindergarten. My niece just shrugged off the story, she said black propaganda or not does not really matter because it is what and how much you can pay the voters that would decide the election. Even their close relatives, their first cousins would still ask from them, she said. It was from their father, who run for mayor before that they learned their lesson; they could never win an election based on platforms and integrity alone no matter how you inform them thru rallies, forums, etc. but money. Would you believe last election 2013, cell phones were sold out in that small town and the neighbouring towns.

          And one time at home over lunch with our kababayans we happened to talk about politics. This friend was from our town’s political clan and he mentioned that during elections one of their rooms would be filled with cash from floor to ceiling.

          • Waray-waray says:

            The further you go from Metro Manila, the more rampant vote buying becomes.

            In Negros Occ where there are still many farmers living in their master’s land who are also the local officials the threat is : Boto or bunot (vote or eviction)?

    • Joe America says:

      Excellent point. Capability is key. I’m arguing that my form of government forces top people into positions from the various (functional) federated states, otherwise they have lousy representation. And the President is selected by people who understand and respect him/her and the capabilities brought to the table. In today’s dynastic government where a president has no real mandate to lead due to plurality vote . . . always trouble and disrespect for the National Govt.

    • eag97a says:

      And the quality of the leaders will depend heavily on the quality of the electorate. Improving the quality of the voting populace takes precedence and education is the best way to do that and unfortunately there are no shortcuts here.

  15. DAgimas says:

    federalism and local autonomy as advocated by local politicians and their supporters is different from what they do in America (where I live now, so I cant cite Canada or Germany)

    for local advocates, federalism and autonomy is all about autonomy of power from Manila but get their budget from the National Governent,. very neat. all the perks but not the hard work.

    here in the USA, its about division of power/responsibility. the federal is in charge of the usual defense and foreign affairs and the power to raise and spend its own revenue. this revenue collected by the federal govt is not shared with the states and local govt. they have to raise their own.

    that’s why a shutdown of federal govt doesn’t affect the residents of California unless you work for the fedral govt or you get rent assistance from HUD

    in the Philippines, its different. they want the power to govern their own little fiefdom, raise their own revenue and still get a share from the taxes collected by the BIR

    even now, the local governments are very lucky. they don’t have to spend on public safety, education and still get and IRA. only in the Philippines

    in California, if a local government could not afford to be city, it gets absorbed by another city or by the county. and the state or federal govt don’t give a damn if a city can not afford to pay for its police. either the residents pay up for the service or just move away.

    local autonomy or federalism is good if the government unit can afford it. some cities in Metro Manila can afford to be autonomous and maybe a handful of provincial cities can withstand on their own feet.

    maybe even Davao city mayor Duterte is not so cocky if his city were to survive only on property taxes and business taxes and have to pay for public safety, education and local courts/prosecution.

    • Joe America says:

      Most interesting comparison. The wrong kind of federalism would totally gut National. The nation would become ungovernable and possibly unstable with rich and poor states. Rather unnerving perspective.

  16. I am reposting the link below for those who are curious if there’s pathology involved in Duterte’s behavior and speech pattern:

    Irineo and I talked about this in Wil’s recent article. We also provided links describing antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders.

    • karlgarcia says:

      HBD JP

      There are rumors that psych reports are used to expedite annulment cases.
      But I don’t want to give any benefits to Duterte only doubt. No benefit of the doubt from me.

      The daughter is claiming it was more than ten years,and all is well between ma and pa.
      Actions speaks louder than psych reports.

      • ???? Psych reports here are taken seriously. There, they are used to expedite annulments? There is no stigma attached in having mental health issues here. Psych diagnosis are just like high blood pressure diagnosis, the affliction needs to be controlled and regulated, that’s all. I know a pilot who is bipolar and he is functional when he is taking his meds so he flew planes for a major airline until he reached retirement age.

        • karlgarcia says:

          I was told by my friend that her lawyer just told her to accept everything that is written in the psych report. So there, it is no longer just a rumor to me.

          There is still stigma here,but I no longer care,I have disclosed that I visit a shrink every now and then.And yes I make it a point not to forget my meds.
          But this is not about me.

          The Villar camp used Pnoys psych report as a weapon during 2010 elections.
          It will be unfortunate but inexorable that Duterte’s Psych report will be used against him.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Are the question marks for HBD,I was alerted on fb if that is wrong then it is not my first time to be wrong,just the other day I greeted NHerrera by mistake.

          • Juana Pilipinas says:

            No, karl. The question marks are my WTH cries. Forgot to thank you for your greetings. It is much appreciated. You are an awesome dude.

      • DAgimas says:

        the psych report used in his annulment I think is pro forma for all annulment cases. they should dig all psych reports in all annulment and compare. they are standard report, in my opinion.

        how could a psych evaluate the other party without even interviewing him for some time? the psych just depend on the questionnaire filled up by the petitioner?

        the original case of annulment was the basis for all these psych reports and al petitions since then was based on this landmark case

  17. karlgarcia says:

    The legal officers should make an inventory of laws and recodify them.
    It is well known that law makers are just draft approvers from presidential staff,lobbyists etc.
    If not just copy an old bill then rinse and repeat.
    Make full use of the legal officers in the long transition period,have them well funded,make the laws more simple,after the transition period all they have to do is watch the implementers.

    I propose direct law making through crowd sourcing with the legal officers’ supervision.

    The police should have satellite technology for their monitoring,they should deputize everyone who owns a mobile phone to dump all the viral videos to their office,then they will forward it to the legal officers for prosecution.

    In my proposal the legal officers are the most busy of all the bodies.

  18. Vicara says:

    Have many reservations regarding federalism. But this system may help to curb the increasingly obscene levels of legitimate and illegitimate election-related spending. And the reason we have so many hollow “personalities” running for high public office is because political backers are following the same tired logic as Hollywood producers: Get a storyline team to pick formulaic candidates that they think will have sure-fire mass entertainment appeal (Fairy Dust Queen, Super Enforcer) and get the votes from the general population. Because there’s just too much studio money riding on this thing.

  19. Myrna Alcala says:

    JoeAm, unity among religious leaders could never be; resolution of their doctrinal conflict would affect foremost their finances (tithes). Unity among them might happen when the world is nearing its end.

    Your observations and suggestions on Federalism for my country, tho somewhat idealstic in my view, are highly appreciated aware of how much efforts you put into it. In my opinion, it may take a long time for your suggested Federalism to be accepted and implemented in this nation taking into account the inherent nature of my countrymen. By then, am no longer around; hopefully, my descendants will be enjoying its benefits.

    Many thanks to God for your life, JoeAm; for a foreigner, your devotion to my country is unparalleled.

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