CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga—The government’s campaign to inform the people in Central Luzon about federalism will start today in Nueva Ecija.
Araceli San Jose, assistant director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in Central Luzon, said the info campaign would then proceed to Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Aurora, Zambales, and Bulacan until the end of the year.
The campaign was launched because the people “have limited knowledge of federalism as form of government as shown by the latest DILG survey,” San Jose said.
Central Luzon DILG officials will only inform the people on the main features of federalism “and not promise anything that their lives will improve or be better under the new form of government,” she added.
A lone speaker will inform a target audience of 1,000 per seminar on the pros and cons of federalism, to help the people decide on what form of government they want.
Scholars and pro-federalism intellectuals have proposed Central Luzon as one of up to 11 federal states in the country, with Clark Freeport and Manila as the seats of the state and federal government, respectively.
These proponents of federalism include Dr. Jose V. Abueva, former president of the University of the Philippines and chairman of the Citizen Movement for Federalism Philippines, and the late Dr. Salvador Z. Araneta, a nationalist who founded the Gregorio Araneta University Foundation, the first private agricultural school in the country, San Jose said.
Federalism advocates proposed different periods of transition from the current presidential system of government. Araneta had suggested a 10 to 20 year period, while Abueva proposed a five to 10-year transition. The Duterte administration is proposing an immediate shift to a federal system.
Araneta had also proposed just six federal states for the Philippines, while the administration is still silent on the political subdivisions under the federal system.