More than shifting to federalism, in which the country would be divided into autonomous states, Senator Richard Gordon said what the country really needs is a cultural change.
Gordon explained that even if the Philippines shifted to federalism, the country will remain the same if the government will still be run by the same people.
“Parang new society with the same old faces. Kunwari yung society, federal government, eh yun na naman ang magpapatakbo, same people. So ang kailangan natin is cultural change in the way we run the government,” he said.
Gordon pointed out that what needs to change is the country’s electoral system so that candidates, with leadership abilities but do not have sufficient campaign funds, will have the same chances of getting elected as well-funded candidates.
“Gusto ko baguhin yung sistema ng eleksyon. Unless we do it, how can you change? Tatakbo akong senador o tatakbong presidente, para makapag-advertise ka, P895,000 for 30 seconds. Para makakuha ka ng ganung salapi, either mayaman na mayaman ka, which means pabor lamang sa mayaman yan. Pangalawa, kung mayaman ka ginamit mo pera mo, malamang babawiin mo somehow yan. Pangatlo, pag kaya mong humingi sa mga malalaki syempre you’re putting yourself in danger na kapag nakaupo ka na manghihingi ng pabor sa yo yan,” he said.
The senator is proposing that the Commission on Elections should hold televised debates in every region which would be funded by the government so that voters will be able to know the candidates better and hence, choose with discernment.
“At saka di na talaga gagastos ng malaki ang mga kandidato. Ako payag dyan,” he said.
Gordon said shifting to federalism should not be a legislative priority this year since the country is not ready for such a transition.