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Federalism in the Philippines

Federalism is a proposed system of administration for the Philippines and a revision of the current 1987
constitution. Under Joint Resolution No. 10, proposed by senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., the creation of
eleven autonomous regions out of the Philippine Republic which would establish centers of finance and
development in the archipelago.[1]

Contents

• 1 Joint Resolution No. 10


o 1.1 Senate Majority
• 2 Eleven States
• 3 Federal Administrative Region
• 4 Senators Based on states
• 5 House Concurrent Resolution No. 15
o 5.1 Presidential Visit of Couchepin and Arroyo's backing
• 6 References

• 7 External links

Joint Resolution No. 10

The resolution will require the revision of 14 of the existing 18 Articles of the 1987 Philippine Constitution
and the addition of two new articles. It seeks to adopt a federal presidential bicameral form of
government.

Senate Majority

This proposed bill is backed by the 13 senators of the Philippines:

• Senate Minority Floor Leader Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. filed Senate Resolution No. 10
• Senate President Manuel Villar, Jr.
• Sen. Edgardo Angara
• Sen. Pia Cayetano
• Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile
• Sen. Francis Escudero
• Sen. Jinggoy Estrada
• Sen. Gregorio Honansan II
• Sen. Panfilo Lacson
• Sen. Francis Pangilinan
• Sen. Ramon Revilla, Jr.
• Sen. Rodolfo Biazon
• Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri[2]

Eleven States

The states would be Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Minparom (Mindoro,
Palawan, and Romblon), Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao,
Southern Mindanao and Bangsamoro.[3] These would be similar to the US 50 states.

Federal Administrative RegionMetro Manila will be patterned to the US Washington, D.C., and will be
the seat of the Federal government. [3]
Senators Based on states

Other major proposals: the election of senators based on states; the election of senators representing
overseas voters; the election of the president and the vice-president as a team; the abolition of the
Judicial and Bar Council which screens nominees to the judiciary etc.[4]

House Concurrent Resolution No. 15

Rep. Monico O. Puentevella on May 7, 2008, filed House Concurrent Resolution No. 15 which supported
Senate Resolution No. 10 backed by 16 senators. Unlike the Nene Pimentel Senate Resolution,
Puentevella included the option of holding a constitutional convention, but excluded the People's Initiative
mode.[5] Prospero Nograles, a self-proclaimed advocate of federalism, on May 1, 2008, announced: "This
federal system of government is close to my heart as a Mindanaoan leader and I'm sure most of the
leaders in Mindanao will agree that we have long clamored for it. Senate Resolution 10 is a pleasant
surprise because the Senate has a long history of opposing any move to amend the Constitution." [6] The
joint Senate resolution called for the creation of 11 federal states in the country, by convening of Congress
“into a constituent assembly for the purpose of revising the Constitution to establish a federal system of
government.”

Presidential Visit of Couchepin and Arroyo's backing

Swiss President Pascal Couchepin


Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stated to visiting Swiss President Pascal Couchepin: “We advocate federalism
as a way to ensure long-lasting peace in Mindanao.”[7]

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stated to visiting Swiss President Pascal Couchepin: “We advocate federalism
as a way to ensure long-lasting peace in Mindanao.”[7] Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, on August 12,
2008, stated: “It’s all systems go for Charter change. We are supporting Senate Joint Resolution No. 10.
Naughty insinuations that she [Arroyo] was going for Cha-cha [Charter change] because she wants to
extend her term in office prompted the President to make her position clear. She is calling for a
constitutional amendment… in order to bring about the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity. An opportunity
should be given to the whole country to avail of the reform effects of federalism. The sentiment of many
people there is to give local officials more authority in order to perform better. And the federal set-up is the
way forward to this. The President has approved the way forward and there’s no question about it. If she
has the political will to do it she has to muster political will in spite of all these noises.”[8]

Meanwhile, La Union Representative Victor Ortega of La Union, chairman of the House committee on
constitutional amendments said, the results of his survey showed that 115 (94.26%) of the 123 solons
were in favor of amending the Constitution. However, opposition and leftist lawmakers questioned the
results and intent of Ortega’s survey, and called Arroyo’s proposal a ploy for her “perpetuation in power”
and the removal of protectionist provisions in the Charter. Ortega’s survey showed 62 respondents favor
Charter change through a constitutional assembly, and 89 respondents were in favor of shifting to a
parliamentary form of government compared to 56 who voted for federalism, while 70 respondents
preferred to amend the Constitution after the 2010 presidential elections. Members of the committee on
constitutional amendments would vote by the end August on whether to amend the Constitution or not.[9]
Administrative divisions of the Philippines

The Philippines is divided into, from the highest division to the lowest:

1. Provinces and independent cities


2. Municipalities and component cities
3. Barangays

Each division at each level from the provinces down to the barangays is a local government unit (LGU).
For administrative purposes, the provinces and cities are grouped into regions. The President has the
prerogative to create, abolish and determine the composition of regions, which is done so most often in
consultation with the local government units affected; with the exception of autonomous regions, where
the residents of the local government units have to ratify in a plebiscite their inclusion in such a setup.

Other political divisions exist for the other branches of government:

1. Legislative districts for the House of Representatives


2. Judicial regions for the Regional Trial Courts.

• 1 Local government units


o 1.1 Provinces
o 1.2 Cities and municipalties
o 1.3 Barangays
• 2 Other divisions
o 2.1 Regions
o 2.2 Legislative districts
o 2.3 Judicial regions
• 3 Other organizations

• 4 References

Local government units

Provinces

All regions except one (Metro Manila) are subdivided into provinces. Each province is headed by a
governor. The legislative arm is the provincial board composed of the different board

Cities and municipalties

Other regions, aside from having provinces also have independent cities. The independent cities are
highly urbanized cities, and cities whose charters separated them from their mother provinces. These
cities are not administered by their mother provinces, and hence, do not vote for provincial leaders.

Cities that are politically a part of a province are called component cities. The voters in these cities vote
for the provincial governor, and is considered a part of the province.

Municipalities are always associated with a province, except those within Metro Manila, which are
independent. Cities and municipalities are headed by a mayor. The legislative arm of the cities and
municipalities are the city/town councils, which are composed of councilors from each legislative district.
Barangays

Cities (both independent and within their mother provinces) and municipalities are further divided into
barangays. The barangay is the smallest political unit. In some big cities, barangays are grouped into
zones for administrative purposes. Each barangay is headed by a barangay captain.

Other divisions

Legislative districts

Judicial Regions

Regions

Regions are administrative groupings of provinces. They all but one region do not have political power,
but merely serve as administrative groupings of provinces. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
has political power, and is headed by a regional governor. If the Cordillera Administrative Region becomes
autonomous, it too, would have political power.

All but one region is divided into provinces. Metro Manila (the National Capital Region), due to its urban
environment, is not divided into provinces, but instead is divided directly into cities and municipalities. The
cities and municipalities of Metro Manila are grouped together into districts for administrative purposes.

The Supreme Court ruled that a region must be composed of more than one province.

Legislative districts

In addition, the Philippines is also divided into legislative districts. The legislative districts may either be
a single province, a group or, in cases where a city has a large population, a group of barangays. Several
cities and municipalities of Metro Manila previously held shared districts - where two or more LGUs had
shared a representative. Currently, only the Legislative district of Pateros-Taguig City shares its
representatives into two LGUs.
The purpose of legislative districts is for the election of representatives to the House of Representatives.
Each legislative district has no political power.

If a province or a city is composed of only one legislative district, it said to be the lone district (for
example, the "Lone district of Marikina City").

Judicial regions

The Philippines is divided into thirteen judicial regions, where judges of the regional trial courts are
stationed.

Provinces of the Philippines

The provinces of the Philippines are the primary administrative divisions of the Philippines. There are
81 provinces, further subdivided into cities and municipalities. The National Capital Region is autonomous
of provincial government. Each province is administered by an elected provincial governor who oversees
various local government entities.

The provinces are grouped into seventeen regions based on geographical, cultural, and ethnological
characteristics. Fourteen of the regions are designated with numbers corresponding to their geographic
location from north to south. The National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao do not have number designations.

Each province is member to the League of Provinces of the Philippines, an organization which aims to
address issues affecting provincial and metropolitan government administrations.[1]

Government

Probinshal government is autonomous of other provinces and the Republic. Each province is governed by
two main elected branches of government: executive and legislative. Judicial affairs are separated from
provincial governance, administered by the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

National

National intrusion into the affairs of each provincial government is limited by the constitution. The
President of the Philippines however coordinates with provincial administrators through the Department of
the Interior and Local Government. For purposes of national representation, each province is divided into
one or more congressional districts. Each city or municipality belongs to one of these districts. One
congressional representative represents each district in the House of Representatives. Senate
representation is elected at an at-large basis and not apportioned by provincial districts.

Executive

The provincial governor is chief executive and head of each province. Elected to a term of three years
and limited to three terms, he or she appoints the directors of each provincial department which include
the office of administration, engineering office, information office, legal office and treasury office.

Legislative

The vice-governor is asa the president of each Provincial Board, the body that acts as legislature. The
board is composed of members from provincial districts. Such districts, of which there may be eight or
ten, are apportioned by income class. First and second class provinces have ten board members while
third and fourth class provinces have eight. Cebu, Negros Occidental and Pangasinan have twelve board
members each.

Each Provincial Board have designated seats for ex-officio members. Such seats are given to the local
president of the Association of Barangay Captains, the local president of the Philippine Councilors
League, and the local president of the youth council, Sanggunian Kabataan.

The vice-governor and members of the Provincial Board are elected by the citizens of the province. Ex-
officio members are elected by members of their respective organizations.

Geography Dictionary: federalism

A two-tier system of government. The higher, central government is usually concerned with matters which
affect the whole nation such as defence and foreign policy, while a lower, regional authority generally
takes responsibility for local concerns such as education, housing, and planning although, of course, the
division of responsibilities varies from case to case.

Federations were designed to preserve regional characteristics within a united nation, or to contain
nationalist elements which were agitating for independence. Thus, the Nigerian federation was
substantially amended after the Biafran war of 1967; the number of states was increased from twelve to
nineteen, and each state was given more power.

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Political Dictionary: federalism

The term federalism (Latin: foedus, compact, covenant, agreement) is most commonly employed to
denote an organizational principle of a political system, emphasizing both vertical power-sharing across
different levels of governance (centre-region) and, at the same time, the integration of different territorial
and socio-economic units, cultural and ethnic groups in one single polity. Federal political systems are
hence often viewed as combining ‘unity with diversity’ (as in the motto of the United States, e pluribus
unum). Yet, federal political systems come in different forms: one central dimension along which different
types of federal polities can be compared is the autonomy and diversity of the corresponding units. Where
the units of a federal polity are highly autonomous and possess exclusive competences over taxation and
public policy-making, one can speak of a confederal polity (or centrifugal federalism). However, a polity
where the integration of different units, the sharing of competencies, and the equalization of living
conditions among the different units is emphasized can be considered a decentralized unitary state (or
centripetal federalism).

In the early seventeenth century, Johannes Althusius (1557-1638) conceived of a polity as a federally
constructed edifice of multiple layers of ‘consociations’ such as family and kinship, guilds and estates,
cities and provinces—in direct contrast to Jean Bodin's conception and defence of the unitary
monarchical state as guarantor for order and stability. Taken as a whole, the different consociations form a
system of ‘societal federalism’ in which representation is functional (e.g. professional guilds) as well as
territorial (cities and provinces). However, it was only with Montesquieu that not only the idea of a
‘separation of powers’ but equally that of federalism as a core principle for the organization of polities
entered the political debates, against the background of absolutist monarchical rule. One of the most lucid
examples where enlightened political thought met the practical art of constitution-building was the The
Federalist Papers, whose impact on political thought and practice echoed during the French Revolution
and the nineteenth century reorganization of European states following Napoleon's fall.

The actual creation of federal polities has been either ‘from below’, through the consent of the constituent
units such as, for example, in the United States and Switzerland, or ‘from above’, through imposition from
the ‘centre’ and/or outside forces, such as in Germany after the Second World War, post-Franco Spain, or
Belgium. The creation of a federal political system in the United States, following decolonialization and the
creation of independent states, was motivated by the desire of a majority of the constituent states to
enhance the security and economic benefits of limiting the sovereignty of individual states by creating an
‘extended republic’ with a strong central authority. Security-induced and economic motives as well as the
appreciation of cantonal autonomy and cultural diversity were behind the creation of the Swiss federal
polity in 1848. The creation of a federal polity ‘from above’ in post-war Germany followed ‘outside’
pressure from the Allies to prevent the high degree of centralization experienced under National Socialism
ever being repeated. The ‘Länder’, however, were not generally based upon any ethnic groups, some
were artificial whilst others had existed previously; in Spain, where cultural differences were suppressed
under the Franco Regime, the federalization of Spain after 1978 was thus driven by the objective to
abandon a centralized authoritarian state and to institutionally recognize the social and cultural regional
differences; in Belgium, the growing rift between Flanders and the French-speaking Wallonian population
rendered the maintenance of a centralized, unitary form of government impossible and, increasingly, the
Belgian decision-making process became deadlocked by divisions along linguistic, rather than ideological
lines. A gradual process of federalization with major constitutional revisions occurred throughout the
1970s and 1980s.

Federalism suggests that everybody can be satisfied (or nobody permanently disadvantaged) by nicely
combining national and regional/territorial interests within a complex web of checks and balances
between a general, or national, or federal government, on the one hand, and a multiplicity of regional
governments, on the other. This concept purports to describe a method of arranging territorial
government, and accommodating differing territorial interests that, at one and the same time, avoids both
the perceived overcentralization of unitary systems and the extreme decentralization of confederations.

Its principal ambiguities are three. First, in operational terms federal systems operate in a variety of
different political contexts and are associated with a variety of significantly different political outcomes. No
one distinctively federal pattern of relations between the national and regional levels of government
emerges. It is not at all clear that regional interests and governments are always better promoted and
protected in most systems called federal than they are in many systems labelled unitary. Secondly,
federal theory is similarly confused. The literature on the subject has produced three broad models: dual,
cooperative, and organic federalism. If these are static, ‘timeless’ models—that is, at any particular point
in time examples of all three will be present—then the problem is that the differences between them are
too great to suggest that they apply to the same thing. If, however, it is argued they are developmental in
character—such that dual federalism existed in the nineteenth century, cooperative federalism in the mid-
twentieth century, and organic federalism in the late twentieth century—there seems to be very little
difference between federal and unitary systems. ‘Federalism’ is a classic example of concept overstretch.

Thirdly, supporters of the federal ‘idea’ and the notion that federalism is a distinct principle of governing,
are most plausible when they confine their analysis to formal constitutional or institutional matters. What
they have never been able to do is to incorporate other political phenomena, political cultures, party
systems, the influence of bureaucrats, and external pressures, into these notions of the distinctiveness of
federalism and its commitment to decentralization. These academic ambiguities would not matter so
much if federalism was not on so many occasions a symbol of serious division and conflict. This is
curious, and dangerous, because federal enthusiasts in the political world often offer this symbol as a way
of avoiding territorial conflict. In practice, people have been willing to fight and die to support or oppose
the principle. This is because federalism usually becomes a ‘live’ political issue in two highly dangerous
circumstances: (1) when a region wishes to secede from an existing federation; or (2) when an attempt is
made to replace a loose confederation, or alliance, with a more centralized federation.

— Berthold Rittberger/Jim Bulpitt

US Government Guide: federalism

Federalism refers to the division of governmental powers between the national and state governments.
The Founding Fathers created a federal system to overcome a tough political obstacle. They needed to
convince independent states to join together to create a strong central government. Writing to George
Washington before the Constitutional Convention, James Madison considered the dilemma. He said that
establishing “one simple republic” that would do away with the states would be “unattainable.” Instead,
Madison wrote, “I have sought for a middle ground which may at once support a due supremacy of
national authority, and not exclude [the states].” Federalism was the answer.

Under federalism, both state and national governments may directly govern through their own officials
and laws. Both levels of government derive their legitimacy from the Constitution, which endows each
with supreme power over certain areas of government. Both state and federal governments must agree to
changes in the Constitution. Both exercise power separately and directly over the people living under their
authority, subject to the limits specified in the U.S. Constitution, the supreme law of the country. The
Constitution and acts of the national government that conform to it are superior to constitutions, laws, and
actions of state and local governments.

In the American federal system, the national (federal) government has certain powers that are granted
only to it by the Constitution. The 50 state governments also have powers that the national government is
not supposed to exercise. For example, only the federal government may coin money or declare war.
Only the state government may establish local governments and conduct elections within the state. Some
powers are shared by both federal and state governments, such as the power to tax and borrow money.
Some powers are denied to the federal and state governments, such as granting titles of nobility and
passing bills of attainder.

In the American federal system, the powers of the national government are limited. However, within its
field or range of powers, the national government is supreme. The states can neither ignore nor contradict
federal laws and the Constitution. The core idea of American federalism is that two levels of government
(national and state) exercise power separately and directly on the people at the same time. Under
federalism, the state of Indiana has authority over its residents, but so does the federal government based
in Washington, D.C. Indiana residents must obey the laws of their state government and their federal
government.

Federalism is a central principle of the Constitution, but the balance of power between the state and
national governments was not defined exactly at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Since then,
debates about the rights and powers of states in relation to the federal government have continued.

In The Federalist No. 45, James Madison gave his vision of how federalism would work:

The powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which
are to remain in state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally
on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the
several states will extend to all objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties,
and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the states.
Law Encyclopedia: Federalism
This entry contains information applicable to United States law only.

The term federalism is derived from the Latin root foedus, which means "formal agreement or covenant."
It includes the interrelationships between the states as well as between the states and the federal
government. Governance in the United States takes place at various levels and branches of government,
which all take part in the decision-making process. From the U.S. Supreme Court to the smallest local
government, a distribution of power allows all the entities of the system to work separately while still
working together as a nation. Supreme Court justice Hugo L. Black wrote that federalism meant

a proper respect for state functions, a recognition of the fact that the entire country is made up of a Union
of separate State governments, and a continuance of the belief that the National Government will fare
best if the States and their institutions are left free to perform their separate functions in their separate
ways. (Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37, 91 S. Ct. 746, 27 L. Ed. 2d 669 [1971])

The Constitution lists the legislative powers of the federal government. The Tenth Amendment protects
the residual powers of the states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."