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Constitutional Reform for

a new Generation.
A lecture on political reform and change for the Quezon City University.
Prof. Alfredo S Sureta Jr.
Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform-
Department of Interior and Local Government
Why do political institutions matter more
than culture to national development
 In the book “Why Nation’s fail” the development of sound political
institutions is key to creating the environment for national
development.
 More than culture, history, climate and geography. Institution
building Is the first important step towards creating space for
development.
 Using Path Dependence, a theory on Rational Choice, decision
points in a country’s historical development are the foundation in
building sound political institutions.
 Unsound decisions, create a path dependent towards unsound
political institutions. Sound decisions create a path towards sound
Why do we need to Reform our
Political System?
 In the Philippines starting with the creation of modern
state that went from colonial to post colonial state. Bad
decision points were taken institutionalizing a unsound
political system.
 Centralization of resources through colonial extractive system
began in Spanish period. (Source of Unitary/Centralized system)
 Adoption of American Representative Democracy without Regional
Constituencies (Senate as a national body, excluding representation
of peripheral regions).
 Retaining these features in the 1987 Constitution.
Why reforming the Constitution is the step
towards improving our political system?

 The 1987 Constitution retains overwhelming centralization despite the


passage of the Local Government Code and provisions of recognition
local government in Article X.
 The lack of regional representation in the Senate. Excluding marginal
groups in the highest level of legislation.
 Continuing dominance of Central government in policy making,
budgeting and implementation of national programs. (Advisory role of
the Regional Development Council).
Why reforming the Constitution is the step
towards improving our political system?

The 1987 Constitution could have ended Political


Dynasties but it did not.
The 1987 Constitution could have strengthened
political parties but it did not.
The 1987 Constitution could have opened the
Economy to more competition but it did not.
What is the consequence of an
unreformed Constitution?

Continuing decay of the political representation


Continuing expansion of political dynasties for the
past thirty years
Continuing decay of political parties.
Continuing decay of our economy.
Continuing underdevelopment of underdeveloped
regions.
What are the fears in reforming the 1987
Constitution?
 Critics have argued that changing the constitution is a
leapt into the unknown.
 Adding that the “political culture” of the Filipinos are not
suited for changes in the political system. Even adding that
what we need is a Change of heart rather than a change of
system.
 While institutionalist critics will argue that Philippines will
face costly financial burden in a shift to a political system.
 Adding also that countries that shifted did not gain the
expected economic or governance gains of adopting a new
political system.
What is our response as advocates of
political reform?
Institutions create and change political behavior
and culture. Not immediately but eventually.
Costs are real concern but relatively depending on
how costs are designed and guidelines created
this concern can be reduced.
The gains of political system accrue over time.
However decision point of reform must be done
now.
How will reforms be started?

Regular review of a Democratically crafted


Constitution is a necessary part of a democracy.
The process of achieving political reform should
take into consideration timeliness, cost and
legitimacy.
Constitutional Convention
Constituent Assembly
Constitutional Commission
Two Pronged Approach:
Harmonizing the Bayanihan
Draft; the Big Bang approach
Strategic amendment:
Amending select provisions of
the 1987 Constitution.
What specific reforms are needed?
The Bayanihan Draft
Reforming the National
Leadership
Creating Regional
Governments
Regionalizing the Senate: Giving Voice to the
Periphery
STRUCTURE OF REGIONAL
AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

1987 Constitution Bayanihan IATF Draft


Draft
SECTION 1. The territorial SECTION 1. The territorial SECTION 1. THE FEDERAL
and political and political REPUBLIC SHALL INITIALLY
subdivisions of the subdivisions of the CONSIST OF SEVENTEEN (17)
Republic of the Republic of the REGIONS, INCLUDING THE
Philippines are the Philippines are the BANGSAMORO AND CORDILLERA.
provinces, cities, provinces, cities, THE APPORTIONED COMPONENT
UNITS OF THE REGIONS ARE THE
municipalities, and municipalities, and
(A) PROVINCES, (B) CITIES, (C)
barangays. There shall barangays. There shall
MUNICIPALITIES AND (D)
be autonomous regions be autonomous regions BARANGAYS.
in Muslim Mindanao in Muslim Mindanao
and the Cordilleras as and the Cordilleras as 15
STRUCTURE OF REGIONAL
AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
The proposed regions are as follows:

(1) NCR; (9) Region 6 – Western Visayas;


(2) Region 1 – Ilocos Region; (10) Region 7 – Central Visayas;
(3) Region 2 – Cagayan Region; (11) Region 8 – Eastern Visayas;
(4) CAR; (12) Region 9 – Zamboanga Peninsula;
(5) Region 3 – Central Luzon; (13) Region 10 – Northern Mindanao;
(6) Region IV-A – CALABARZON; (14) Region 11 – Davao Region;
(7) Region IV-B – MIMAROPA; (15) SOCCSKSARGEN;
(8) Region 5 – Bicol Region; (16) CARAGA Region; and
(17) BARMM. 16
STRUCTURE OF REGIONAL
AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
It is proposed that the establishment of regional autonomy is based
on the following principles:

(1) National Integrity


(2) Autonomy
(3) Solidarity
(4) Decentralization and Devolution
(5) Democracy
(6) Accountability
(7) Development of Regional Culture
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STRUCTURE OF REGIONAL
AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
The proposed provisions under the Regional Government
are as follows:
 Creation of the Regions
 Process of creation, merger, abolition and division of regions
 Principle of Secession
 Powers and Functions of Autonomous Region
 Fair and equitable fiscal sharing among regions
 Regional and Local Government Code

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STRUCTURE OF REGIONAL
AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
OTHER PROPOSED PROVISIONS:
 There shall also be a REGIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE
which define the powers, structures, functions and
responsibilities in relation to the federal government, among
others
 There shall be a FAIR AND EQUITABLE FISCAL SHARING AMONG
REGIONS which may be adjusted in accordance with financial
needs, organizational capacity and resources of a region;
 Components of Regional Commission
 Qualification of the member of Regional Assembly
 Filipino Citizen
 Able to read and write
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STRUCTURE OF REGIONAL
AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
OTHER PROPOSED PROVISIONS:

▰ There shall also be a REGIONAL COMMISSION, which


will act as a collegial body, executive and legislative
powers;

▰ There shall be an ORGANIC ACT, which shall define the


basic structure of government for regions, including the
establishment of REGIONAL ASSEMBLY, among others;

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STRUCTURE OF REGIONAL
AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
REGIONAL ASSEMBLY
Qualification of the Term of Office
member of Regional  5 years and shall not
Assembly serve for more than
two (2) consecutive
 Filipino citizen terms.
 Able to read and
write
 At least 25 years of
age 21
CREATION OF A REGION

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Reforming the House of
Representatives and the Party List
system
PROPOSED STRATEGIC
AMENDMENTS TO
SECTIONS 6 AND 14 OF
ARTICLE X, 1987
CONSTITUTION
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CONSTITUTIONALIZE
THE MANDANAS
DOCTRINE

SECTION 6, ARTICLE X
1987 CONSTITUTION
SECTION 6, ARTICLE X
1987 CONSTITUTION
SECTION 6. Local government
units shall have a just share, as
determined by law on the basis
of their financial needs,
organizational capacities, and
resources, in all national taxes
based on the second year
preceding the current fiscal
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year and which shall be
IRA ALLOCATION

SECTION 284. Allocation of Internal Revenue Taxes – Local


government units shall have a share in the internal revenue taxes
based on the collection of the third year preceding the current
fiscal year as follows:

(a) On the first year of the effectivity of this Code, thirty per
centum (30%);
(b) On the second year, thirty-five per centum (35%); and
(c) On the third year and thereafter, forty per centum (40%)

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IRA ALLOCATION

Provinces Cities Municipalities Barangays

SECTION 285. The share of


LGUs in the Internal Revenue
allotment shall be based on 20%
the following allocation 23%

scheme:

(a) Provinces –(23%) 34%


23%

(b) Cities – (23%)


(c) Municipalities – (34%)
(d) Barangays – (20%)
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IRA ALLOCATION

 The IRA undoubtedly is an effective tool in empowering LGUs in its spending


priorities. However, it has also become one, if not, the strongest impetus to
the underdevelopment of some LGUs by making them totally dependent to
the remittance of the national government.

 Provinces remain to be the most dependent on IRA relative to other LGU


tiers, with a dependency ratio of 85% in 2005.

 Cities, which recorded a lower IRA dependency ratio of 45 %for the same
period. (Panadero, 2006, p. 116, Revisiting decentralization by KAS, Logodef and
GTZ)
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IRA ALLOCATION

In some cases like the ARMM


provinces spending for public
services consumes all the IRA
allotment.

A stark example is Lanao del Sur,


which in 2008 spent 100% of its IRA
for public service

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IRA ALLOCATION

Table 1: LGU SPENDING PATTERNS


Bureau of Local Government Finance-
DOF Besides
spending on
public service
another trend
that can be
observed is the
relative increase
in the spending
for social
services
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IRA ALLOCATION
Besides spending on social services, the LGC also mandated that LGUs must
perform the following responsibilities:
• Land use planning • Hospital Care
• Flood Control
• Agricultural extension • Social Welfare Services
• Inter-Municipal
• Local buildings and structures
• Services and Research
Telecommunications
• Public parks
• Community Based Forest
• Municipal Facilities Housing
Management
• Communal Irrigation
• Solid Waste Disposal System • Water Supply
• Environmental Management • Drainage
• Pollution Control • Sewerage
• Primary Health Care
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REGIONALISM OF
THE REGIONAL
DEVELOPMENT
COUNCILS
SECTION 14, ARTICLE X
1987 CONSTITUTION
SECTION 14, ARTICLE X
1987 CONSTITUTION
SECTION 14. The President shall create a Regional
Development Authority composed of provincial governors, city
mayors, presidents of the league of municipalities of each
province, and regional heads of the departments and other
national government offices within the regions for purposes of
administrative decentralization to strengthen the autonomy of
the units therein and to accelerate the economic and social
growth and development of the units in the region. Toward this
end the authority shall formulate, implement and monitor plans
and programs for the development of the region. Congress
shall allocate funds as may be necessary for this purpose
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REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
AUTHORITY
The amendment will allow the RDA to do the following:
 It will not only serve as a recommendatory organization but
would have a specific mandate on how regional plans and or
identification of programs can be fully realized in accordance
to the interests of their respective regions;
 It will be in-charged in the implementation of their respective
development plans;
 It will ensure the funding for the operations and
implementation of various programs and projects; and
 It will serve as a bridge to harmonize national government
priorities from that of the regional and local government
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programs and programs.
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
AUTHORITY
The creation of a RDA will address the policy gap under a centralized unitary
system, to wit:
(1)Transform the regional development council into a functional body vested
with both policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring powers with regard
to programs aimed to uplift the development of the region;
(2) Provide a definite mandate and enhanced role of elected local chief
executives and regional directors of line agencies;
(3) Ensure that development plans formulated in the regions will be given due
consideration at the national level, and
(4)Chairperson of every Regional Development Authority in the country into the
NEDA board. Thus, the needs and programs of the region shall be given a fair
chance of being implemented.
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THANK YOU!

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