“The proposed shift to a federal system of government will ease congestion and resolve the traffic in Metro Manila by spreading economic development and creating opportunities in the countryside.”
This according to administration stalwart Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development.
Castelo said “the concentration of political and economic power in the country’s central government based in Metro Manila is partly to account for the economic and development imbalance that has left far-flung regions and provinces poor and made Metro Manila the dominant region. ”
Castelo added that “the current unitary and highly-centralized system of government has failed to address this imbalance because governance, the distribution of government resources, and the implementation of programs have been inefficient and unable to respond timely and effectively to the needs of regions far from the National Capital Region (NCR). ”
“Governance had been difficult and ineffective even with the devolution called for under the Local Government Code,” Castelo stressed, noting the lopsided share of economic growth in favor of NCR and the two closest regions.
He stated that 62 percent of the country’s gross domestic product is produced and consumed largely in only three regions – NCR, Central Luzon, and Southern Luzon – leaving the 14 other regions with 38 percent.
“As a result, poverty incidence is also much higher in these regions,” he said adding that the farther the region is from the center of power and economic abundance in the NCR, the higher is the poverty incidence.
Federalism will correct this imbalance by redistributing the powers and resources of government.
Castelo said Federalism will correct this imbalance by redistributing the powers and resources of government, giving the regions an opportunity to propel economic growth, create jobs, and increase incomes to address poverty.
“This will prevent people in the provinces from continuing to flock to Metro Manila and even encourage those in the NCR to return to their hometowns,” he pointed out.