The first national convention of the Hugpong Federal Movement of the Philippines, a movement for educating the people about the advantages of federalism, was held in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental recently, with more than 2,000 participants. Deputy Cabinet Secretary Peter Tiu Laviña, in his message during the opening ceremonies of the convention, said that the Negros Island Region is the youngest region but it is the most active in supporting the form of government.
Acceptance of Federalism is growing
According to a recent Pulse Asia survey, acceptance of the federal form of government is increasing, from 3% to 39% in just a matter of months. Laviña said that they are hoping to get more “yes” votes to win in the plebiscite in 2019. If approved on that year, another three years will be ample time for the preparation of new states created under the new constitution for the election of officials under the new form of government in 2022.
Several models have been suggested on how the country will be divided in the federal form of government. PDP-Laban suggests 11 states, another group suggests converting regions into states, and some even refer to the French and American models. Laviña stressed that the administration is avoiding making suggestions on models to be adopted since there are plenty to choose from.
Two years ago, Duterte accepted a challenge to be the voice and face of federalism wherein he traveled around the country to speak about changes in the form of government.