Federalism May Bring Peace to Mindanao – Alvarez

Manila, Philippines, 13 Syawal 1437/18 July 2016 (MINA) – The federal system of government President Duterte envisions for the nation may be the key in finally achieving peace in war-torn Mindanao, incoming speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Sunday.

It would also speed up the attainment of inclusive economic growth, which will reduce poverty in urban areas and the countryside, Philstar reported, quoting Alvarez.

“Federalism will allow the autonomous regions to realize their full economic potentials as self-governing units that are directly answerable to their respective constituents,” he said.

He added that each autonomous region would be “allowed to bloom with respect to, among other areas, its economy, culture and religion,” he added.

“There will be less room for strife.”

He pointed out that once a federal system of government is in place, there would be no need for a Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) “because Muslim Mindanao will already have its own autonomous region co-existing with other autonomous regions.”

“As for fear that poor regions like the Samar-Leyte provinces may suffer from federalism, we will assure the people that we have devised a plan wherein such provinces shall be grouped with better performing provinces in order to help them strive and attain a better performing region,” Alvarez said.

Like his choice for the top post in the House of Representatives, Duterte is hoping that federalism would solve peace and order problems in Mindanao.

However, he told a recent gathering of Muslim leaders in Davao City that if the people reject federalism, he would pursue the enactment of the proposed BBL, which the last Congress failed to pass. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)