Home News Cagayan Valley Cagayan What do Tuguegarao City residents think of federalism?

What do Tuguegarao City residents think of federalism?

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Around 2,800 residents from this city’s barangays attended a seminar on federalism on Thursday, November 30.

During the event, the Forum asked some locals about their expectations and perceptions on federalism.

Carig Sur Barangay Chair Perpetua Narag said she expects that there would be a change in local government allocations.

“Marami po ang pagbabago sa ating gobyerno kung susunod po tayo sa programa ng ating presidente. Ang magiging epekto po sana nito [ay] ang pagbabago ng ating mga allocation gaya ng IRA [Internal Revenue Allotment],” she said.

Narag also believes that local units will now get 80% of national internal revenue taxes while the national government will get 20%.

However, federalism advocates say, should a type of government push through, distribution will be 60% going to local units and 40% to the national government. Although some earlier suggested a 80%-20% distribution, with a greater slice going to local units.

The current system is a 60-40 split, with 60% going to the national government and 40 percent to the LGUs through the IRA.

Narag said, after the seminar, she will hold a meeting with the barangay council, staff, and tanods [watchmen] to relay insights on federalism.

Meanwhile, Jerry Galindon, a teacher of Barangay Leonarda’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) believes that less fortunate people will get a chunk of government funds.

“Para sa akin ang kabutihan nito sa ating constituents, mas marami tayong makukuha pati sa pangangailangan, siguro especially sa mga less fortunate people natin,” he said.

“Sa akin, dahil nasa Alternative Learning System ako, siguro mas malaki ang maibibigay sa ating pondo,” he added.

Galindo, however, clarified that it was his first time to attend a federalism seminar and is not a supporter of the movement. Yet, he said, “Kung ano man ang makabubuti sa ating bansa, kung ano ang makakatulong sa atin, bakit hindi natin gawin, bakit hindi natin suportahan?”

The ALS teacher also stressed the importance of informing locals about federalism.

“Kailangan kasing malaman ng ibang tao rin kung ano ang federalism talaga. Depende ito kung paano mo maipapaliwanag sa kanila at paano nila maintindihan. Hindi naman natin puwedeng sabihin na federal na tayo [and] it’s just because of a seminar; pero depende pa rin sa pagpapaliwanag, at since marami pong tao dito sa gym ngayon, sana maintindihan nila ang tungkol sa federalismo,” he said.

Meanwhile, there were also some residents who were clueless on federalism. For instance, a barangay council member even thought there would be no more elections in the proposed type of government.

Some also said they did not know the event was about federalism, saying that it was just a program of Mayor Jefferson Soriano.

Mayor Soriano said the event was solely organized by his local political party, Team JeffSor, to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign for a federal government. Northernforum.net

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