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DP 2017-29: Federalism: Prospects for the Philippines

The paper aims to consider potential benefits of federalism to the Philippines within the context of two major development constraints, namely, weak economic growth and poverty. The governance and institutional aspects of these development constraints point to how continued centralization of fiscal powers and the resulting common resource pool problem have weakened government capacity to bring about inclusive development. Critical to the success of decentralization and fiscal federalism efforts is a strong middle level government, which is absent in the current setup. The establishment of regional governments, its powers and functions and its relation to the national government and local governments, is the most crucial element in the shift from a unitary to a federal form of government.

It is recommended that the proposed shift be carried out in two stages. The first stage will deal with assignment of competencies and the relationship between the national government and regional government, with the power to organize the local governments being one of the competencies exclusively assigned to the latter. The second stage will tackle the regional government and its local governments. Each regional government should come up with its own regional constitution or organic act that could be drafted through a regional constitutional convention.



Philippine Institute for Development Studies
Authors Keywords
Miral, Romulo Jr. E.M.; Philippines; federalism; decentralization; autonomous region; local government;
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