Philippines

Transition period vital in shift to federal system: NEDA

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Transition period vital in shift to federal system: NEDA
By Azer Parrocha

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Wednesday underscored the importance of a transition period to prepare the Philippines for a shift to a federal system of government.

“NEDA supports the creation of a federal transition commission to continue to conduct a genuine and comprehensive evaluation of the readiness of the regions and facilitate a transition towards federalism,” NEDA Undersecretary Adoracion Navarra said in a forum in Quezon City.

Navarra said the transition period should consist of “phases” since not all regions are as ready to shift to federalism as others.

“We think that regions may need more time before any shift or change to a form of government takes place,” she added.

First, Navarra said the present government should comprehensively study regional soci-economic profiles and craft laws, regulations, and policies.

“Accompanying this shift to federalism should be proper and extensive studies on the requirement for such effort to be successful. Such shift in government should not be rushed and we should allow sufficient time to prepare the economy,” Navarra said.

She also said the federal transition commission should rationalize government structures and functions, prepare the regions, and educate the public through information drives.

Navarra also stressed the need for a transitional government, where a transition president and vice president will be elected in tandem, to prepare bureaucracy.

Select pilot regions should also be identified to measure the region’s readiness, she said, adding that pilot regions must be the more developed ones.

She said the transition government should ratify the amended Constitution for full transition.

Former chief justice Reynato Puno, chairman of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to draft the federal Constitution, welcomed the NEDA executive’s remark, noting that there was ample time for the public to study their proposal.

“That’s right. We just submitted the draft (federal Constitution) to President last July 9. So it’s only fair for the public to study it,” Puno said.

The Federal Transition Commission (FTC) is a body that will “formulate and adopt a transition plan for the orderly shift to the new system of government, as provided for in the new Constitution”, Puno said.

It will also organize, reorganize, and fully establish the federal government and the governments of the federated regions in accordance with the Constitution.

Transition period will take place from 2019 to 2022. (PNA)

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