MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang reiterated that the shift to a federalism government would not have any adverse effect on the economy. This is after the country’s top economist cautioned that federalism could affect government finances.
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the palace has already clarified the matter with socioeconomic planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
“The shift to federalism, we reiterate, would have no adverse effect on the Philippine economy. Our budget would remain the same, as identified national projects would be devolved and transferred to the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of local government units. These projects include maintenance of barangay roads and bridges, water supply services, barangay health centers and daycare centers, solid waste disposal system of municipalities, among others,” he said.
Roque added that “The role of the national government would be to continue to implement Build, Build, Build projects and would hence be concentrated on policymaking.”
During a media interview, Pernia said that federalism could disrupt the administration’s infrastructure projects and the country’s fiscal situation.
President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to endorse to Congress the draft federal charter during his state of the nation address (SONA) on July 23. – Rosalie Coz / UNTV News and Rescue