Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Federal is not the way to go

Federalism is not the solution to our current problems. It is a concept which has been tried before, but failed, only because those who want it as a governance model failed to create the conditions necessary to make it effective.

If we are to implement federalism, and political tribalism is still in existence, then, what will we see are regions, nay, sub-states controlled by the very same people we see today who compose our political elites. Worse, these political elites would turn these states into personal fiefdoms, using their positions of power to effectively monopolize and control economic activities in their respective territories.

We are seeing it happen now and this phenomenon would not change with the institution of federalism.

I can only agree with Federalism if we, the progressive forces, overturn these elites from their political positions and dismantle the traditional structures established by these elites and replace it with new ones. Federalism is a concept well worth the try, but not with this current environment.

Our problem really is how to effectively distribute the gains of the economy to a wider number of Filipinos. This problem can be effectively answered by opening ourselves more to capital. Capital should flow from the center to other directions. It can be distributed by turning our entire country into geo-economic centers.

For example, let's carve our entire archipelago into economic centers. Obviously, the National Capital Region (NCR) should be turned into a super region where every single economic activity is allowed. Cebu and an aggrupation of Mindanao-based cities which consist a single contiguous area should also be transformed as super regions.

Under this proposal, let us carve our archipelago into these super regions, namely:

1. Ilocos Norte-Ilocos Sur-Pangasinan as one (1) super region---mixed agri, tourism and fishery
2. Cagayan-Isabela-Abra as one (1) super region----this region would concentrate on agricultural production focusing on corn production.
3. Cordillera-Nueva Ecija-Nueva Vizcaya-Quirino-Aurora as one super region---agricultural production focusing on rice, vegetable produce,
4. Bulacan-Pampanga, Zambales-Bataan as one super region focusing on agro-industrial, tech industries
5. NCR---financial
6. Bataan-Quezon-Cavite-Laguna as one (1) super region to focus also on industrial
7. Ilonggo provinces as sugar production centers
8. Palawan-Guimaras-Panay as tourism centers
9. Cebu-Leyte-Samar as one (1) super region
10. Mindanao should be separated thus:

10.1. Surigao area as mining extraction