‘Sizeable majority’ oppose federalism? Pulse Asia survey premature – DILG

MANILA, Philippines – The Pulse Asia survey in March, which found that a "sizeable majority" of Filipinos rejecting the shift to a federal system of government is "premature," according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Speaking to Rappler on Friday, May 4, DILG Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya explained that the survey had been conducted before the government could iron out its proposal for federalism.

"I would think that the Filipinos are like that because up to now there is no concrete proposal yet on the table. That’s why my initial impression when I heard this report come out in the media the other day was this is premature because there is nothing really to debate about yet," Malaya said.

Pulse Asia conducted the survey from March 23 to 28, around 3 months before the Duterte-appointed constitutional Consultative Committee is set to finalize its proposed revisions to the 1987 Constitution.

The survey's findings particularly hit the DILG hard as it is the primary executive department tasked to promote the shift to federalism. Malaya stands on top of the campaign operations.

So far, Malaya said, the DILG has not gone full blast in its campaign because it is awaiting the Con-Com's draft. 

"Once the Con-Com is done June, July, then we will be more confident to go to the barangays and explain to them the intricacies [of the proposed shift]," Malaya said.

He added that with barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections coming up, the DILG hopes for hundreds of thousands of new local officials to back the national campaign for federalism. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.