MANILA – Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday said the House of Representatives would continue its push for federalism through the proposed 2021 national budget to help poor regions achieve inclusive and equitable growth, as well as economic sustainability.
In a press briefing, Cayetano said the goal of “federalism in the budget” is to ensure that there is no province, city, and municipality that would be “left behind”, particularly those that are lagging behind the general level of development.
“Federalism is more sustainable because it is more equitable, it is more inclusive. Sa mundong ito, ‘pag hindi ka equitable, ‘pag hindi ka inclusive sasabog-sasabog, magkakaroon ng tipping point (In this world, if you are not equitable, if you are not inclusive, it will blow up, there will be a tipping point). We want to avoid that for the purpose of keeping our republic intact,” Cayetano said.
“So kung hindi papayag yung Senado, or hindi pa ready ang bansa sa constitutional change (So if the Senate won’t agree [with a shift to a federal government], or the country is not yet ready for a constitutional change) which by the way we will continue to push, at the very least we will implement federalism sa (in the) budget,” Cayetano added.
Cayetano noted that the chamber would also help deliver President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal of a “safe and comfortable life for all Filipinos” through the proposed national budget.
Cayetano said they would ensure the speedy implementation of major infrastructure projects within the Duterte administration.
“Sana naman during his term makita na niya kung hindi man matapos, nakatayo… Make sure yung mga proyekto are there na mapapakinabangan agad (We hope that during his term, he would see that [the projects] are partly established, if not fully completed… make sure that the projects are there so that they would already made good use of),” he said.
“This may entail a change of approach sa (in the) budget, even sa (regarding) time,” he added. (IA/PNA)