Professor Araral’s presentation focused on the division of powers, expenditures, and regions in a proposed federal form of government for the Philippines being pushed by the Duterte administration. He expounded on the principles of dividing powers as well as lessons learned from international experiences in federalism.
During the open discussion, Professor Araral addressed issues related to the potential risks as compared to the potential benefits of shifting to a federal form of government. He also engaged views on why amending the local government code would not be enough to solve longstanding problems in a unitary form of government. He then emphasized the need to implement federalism in full, which includes greater responsibility and accountability of the proposed regional or state governments.
In his remarks, NDCP President RAdm Roberto Q Estioko AFP (Ret) PhD MNSA underscored the centrality of the ideas of unity, diversity, and representation in pursuing federalism. He also called for the draft constitution to be thoroughly analyzed, and enhanced if necessary, to promote democratic consolidation and nation-building.
The more than 70 participants in the NDCP Policy Forum on Federalism included representatives from the Department of National Defense, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Economic Development Authority, academic institutions, and the private sector among others.
Professor Araral is an Associate Professor of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore. He is a resource person of the Consultative Committee headed by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno. Professor Araral is also a member of the University of the Philippines Law Center Project on Constitutional Review. Professor Araral specializes in the study of the causes and consequences of institutions for collective action and the governance of the commons.
NDCP Policy Forum is one of the many activities that the College conducts in order to substantively and proactively contribute in promoting intelligent and exhaustive conversations on pressing national issues.