Palace admits "much work to be done" to convince public to support federalism
Malacanang admitted on Monday that the government must work hard to convince the Filipinos to support the country's shift to federalism.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after a survey by Pulse Asia showed majority of Filipinos or 62 percent were not in favor of changing the system of government in the country to a federal one, with 34 percent opposing it now and in the future and 28 percent being against it now but may be open to it in the future.
"There is clearly much work to be done in terms of spreading awareness and knowledge on the aforementioned issue," Roque said in a statement.
He noted that the Pulse Asia survey on Charter change and federalism also showed that 18 percent of respondents agreed that the Constitution should be amended and 28 percent of respondents were in favor of changing the system of government in the country to federalism.
"We would like to point out that only 55 percent of respondents have heard, read, or watched anything about the proposals to change the 1987 Constitution before the survey was conducted or only during the time the survey was held. Also, 69 percent of respondents admitted little awareness of the proposed federal system of government. For this reason, we cannot expect our people to support an initiative, which they know only little about," Roque said.
With this, he said the government needs to exert more effort to inform and educate the public about federalism since the approval of the proposed changes in the current Charter ultimately lies in the hand of the Filipinos.
The Duterte administration has been pushing for a shift of government from unitary to a federal system.
A 22-man consultative committee, which President Rodrigo Duterte created, has finished drafting the possible changes in the 1987 Constitution. Part of the proposal is the government's shift to federalism.
Duterte will submit the draft new constitution to Congress for its approval before presenting to the public for a referendum. Celerina Monte/DMS