Malacañang seeks heightened federalism info drive
By Azer Parrocha
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Malacañang on Monday stressed the need to bolster the public information campaign about federalism after a survey showed that majority of Filipinos were against moves to change the 1987 Constitution.
The Pulse Asia June 2018 Survey on Charter Change and Federalism showed that 67 percent opposed charter change, 18 percent supported it, while 14 percent were undecided.
It also showed that 62 percent were not in favor of federalism, 28 percent were in favor, and 10 percent were uncertain.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government will step up its information campaign to educate Filipinos about charter change and federalism.
“There is clearly much work to be done in terms of spreading awareness and knowledge on the aforementioned issue,” Roque said in a press statement.
“We will therefore exert even more effort to inform and educate our citizens about federalism since the approval of the proposed changes in our current Charter ultimately lies in the hands of the Filipino people,” he added.
Roque, however, pointed out that 55 percent of respondents were aware of proposals to change the country’s charter, which is higher than the March 2018 figure at 49 percent.
Meanwhile, 69 percent of respondents have a low level of knowledge about the federal system of government while 31 percent of Filipinos know enough about it.
“We would like to point out that only 55 percent of respondents have heard, read, or watched anything about the proposals to change the 1987 Constitution before the survey was conducted or only during the time the survey was held. Also, 69 percent of respondents admitted little awareness of the proposed federal system of government,” Roque said.
“For this reason, we cannot expect our people to support an initiative, which they know only little about,” he added.
Ding Generoso, spokesperson of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to draft a federal constitution, said that the panel is currently holding regional consultations, press conferences, and is set to launch a nationwide information education program to raise federalism awareness.
“We are now crafting a nationwide information education program, which will be carried out in the next few months in order to let our people know what is being proposed, how it will benefit them,” Generoso said
Generoso said the ConCom will also be putting up a website and social media page to increase its presence on the Internet.
He, meanwhile, stressed the importance of media in spreading the word on federalism. (PNA)