DOZENS of journalists from Mindanao converged at the VIP Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City starting yesterday (October 8) for the 3-day seminar-workshop on “Understanding Federalism in the Philippine context.”
The seminar-workshop is organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), the national association of newspapers, in partnership with in partnership with the Pimentel Institute for Leadership and Governance and the Hanns Seidel Foundation. It will culminate on Wednesday (October 10).
“The seminar aims to examine the characteristics of a federal form of government: the allocation of authority and power between national and state governments for example,” said Mr. Rodolfo V. Vicerra, former Director-General of the Congressional Planning and Budget Office House of Representatives, in his reader.
It shall explore the historical underpinnings and normative theories of federalism, evaluate federalism doctrines from other countries, and consider the role of federalism in contemporary political/social issues, added Mr. Vicerra, who presented the “Salient Points of the Draft Charter” yesterday afternoon.
During the seminar, he said questions such as: What is the value of a federal system? Are federated regions or states in this case even necessary to securing the benefits attributed to a federal structure? What is the scope of federal power?
To what extent should this original understanding inform judicial decision making today, given changes in our country (and in the international arena)? Who should be primarily responsible for safeguarding federalism? What is the relationship between federalism and individual rights? What role does federalism play in contemporary debates on issues such as (but not limited to) peace process, BangsaMoro, health care, exploitation of natural resources, and taxation?
Mr. Vicerra: “Though the focus of the seminar is on federalism against the backdrop of charter change, media practitioners hopefully shall consider federalism in an informative (beyond pros and cons) context to broaden the discourse and enlighten the public of its intricacies.”
Aside from Mr. Vicerra, other speakers include Dr. Andreas Gruder of the Department of Political Science of Friedrich-Wilhelm University of Bonn, Publicus Asia Inc. CEO Malou Tiqia, Center for International Law (Philippines) executive director Romel Bagares, presidential adviser on the peace process Secretary Jesus Dureza and Bangsamoro Transition Commissioner Maisara Latiph.
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