ASIDE from the 2019 national budget and other pending bills, the House of Representatives will also give priority to the launching of a massive information campaign on the proposed federal form of government.
Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia said that the House will be pushing an intensified information drive for the Filipinos to fully grasp the benefits of shifting to the system.
Garcia said the massive campaign is the best way to counter the surveys that show low awareness of Filipinos to Charter change.
In the recent survey of Pulse Asia, about 67 percent of Filipinos are not in favor of Charter change.
Garcia said heightened information on the issue is needed since the fate of the proposed federal system rests on the decision by the people through a plebiscite.
“They are the ones who will finally decide whether to reject or embrace the idea of federalism,” she said.
A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that only one out of four Filipinos is aware of the federal system, although a slightly greater number supports federalism compared to those who are either against it or are still undecided.
“Only an informed populace can truly make an intelligent and responsible decision on the issue of abandoning the unitary and centralized form of government we have been accustomed to for so long and adopting a novel federal form of government,” Garcia said.
She said she will continue pushing for a federal set-up which has been Duterte’s advocacy from the time he ran for President.
“Certainly not. You are very much aware that the President when he was still a candidate, had pushed for this shift. This is very much part of the platform of the President along with his fight against the drug problem and corruption. But this (federalism) too, was part of the President’s platform and we are in full support of the advocacy of the President, which is why we will continue to push for this shift to a federal system,” Garcia said.
Since the President already pushed for federalism, Garcia said lawmakers, including the super Majority in the House under the leadership of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, made it a priority agenda of the House as well.
“That is why in the coming months, we will now be focusing on a massive information drive for the Filipino population as regards what this (federalism) is really about,” she said.