There is an ongoing debate about pros and cons of federalism in the Philippines as it is being pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
A federal government will divide the Philippines into states with the national government focused on nationwide issues such as foreign policy and national defense.
The autonomous regions or states will then be divided further into local government units that will have primary accountability for their respective territory’s safety, security, transportation, education, healthcare, culture, recreation and industry.
However, critics say that there are possible some negative effects if the country adopts a federal form of government.
One way to form an opinion about this is to know the cons of federalism and learn about its dangers and negative side.
So, what exactly are the disadvantages of federal government?
Here are five reasons – used by those who are against Duterte’s agenda – why federalism is not good in the Philippines.
1. It might create further division and rivalries
Federalism could create a healthy competition among states but one negative effect of this system is that it could lead to more rivalries and worse disunity among the Filipino people.
Decentralization of local governments might also worsen hostilities among ethnic groups, according to critics.
2. Some states might lag behind
An argument used to explain why federalism is bad – in the Philippines, there are some states that are probably not as ready to be autonomous compared to other states, which would create a lot of problems.
Those who are against federalism say that the states that would perform poorly – probably those that lack natural resources and skilled laborers – under a federal government would be in worse condition than before because the national government would not be there to balance the situation and help out with their predicaments.
3. Jurisdiction issues
A federal constitution might create a lot of confusion for both the citizens and the governments. The amended constitution has to specify clearly the duties and obligations of the local governments and the national government in order to prevent chaos and confusion in running the country.
4. Big costs
One of the arguments against federalism is that transforming the government into a federal system of government is going to be expensive.
In order to transform our government into a federation, we would have to spend billions of pesos in setting up federal states and delivering their services. The autonomous states will also have to spend a lot of money just to set up and conduct elections for their new officials.
5. The Islamic separatists might continue to wreak havoc
Some of the radical Islamic separatists want to have their own country and not just a state. In our country’s history, the formation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) did not stop some of the terror groups from causing chaos and death in the country.
Now that you know the perceived bad effects, drawbacks and negatives of federal system, it would be easier to have an opinion on whether to support Duterte’s federalism or not.
RELATED: Benefits of Duterte’s federalism
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Kami.com.ph.
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