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PIA Press Release

PIA Cebu initiates forum on federalism

Cebu City (11 February) -- In order to hike awareness on the significance of changing the country's present political system from Presidential structure to Federalism, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA-7) is initiating a forum on the subject matter.

"How will Federalism Ensure Economic and Political Stability?" will be the focus of discussion in this Wednesday's Kapihan sa PIA, 13 February at 10:00 a.m. at Club Ultima, Fuente Osmeņa, Cebu City where local figures of authority representing various sectors are invited as main panelists and reactors to briefly share their inputs on the topic.

The forum is conducted amid growing concerns the political divisiveness that continues to beset the country today will pull the economy down as the economic gains that have been achieved so far by the current administration will go to waste.

The strengthening of the peso against the US Dollar which is at its strongest for over seven years and the continuous inflow of direct foreign investments to the country especially business process outsourcing firms providing employment to hundreds of thousands of Filipinos are just a few of the economic achievements cited by the Arroyo Administration.

Volume of foreign tourists continues to grow in number year after year, based on the data of the Department of Tourism while Tourism Sec. Joseph "Ace" Durano claimed that the "best is yet to come for Philippine tourism."

But some are saying that the economic gains may prove futile as the political disunity creating an impression of political instability may hamper the country's economic growth.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo meanwhile, has long been advocating and continues to call for political reforms after instituting the necessary economic reforms in place. At the forefront of these political reforms is the shift from the current system of government from Presidential to Federalism.

The essential feature under Federalism is that the rule of law always prevails as the concept of this political structure is mutual dependence based on a unified national consensus. Under Federalism, local government units are given more local autonomy and promote responsible and effective governance among the country's political leaders.

As the issue draws mixed reactions from various sectors, a forum on the subject may help the public understand better on the concept of Federalism.

Among the invited guests to the forum are Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeņa, Cebu Municipal Mayors' League President Mayor Cesar Baricuatro, National Youth Commissioner Michael Lopez, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Francis Monera, Central Visayas Police Chief Gen. Ronald Roderos and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-7) Director Marlene Rodriguez. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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