MANILA - Amid apprehensions from economic managers about the financial impact of the proposed federal charter and shift to federalism, Sen. Koko Pimentel on Friday called on the consultative committee to present its financial studies to the public.
"Matagal na pong concern 'yang numero. So I think the consultative commission should now share with the people their studies as to the numbers. Pag sinabi nating numbers, financials. Kasi pati ako, concerned din ako dun eh," he said.
"So ang assumption kasi is, they have studied the impact of their proposal. Let them also present their figures, their financial analysis," he added.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez on Wednesday told senators he "absolutely" would not approve of federalism as presented in the draft charter by the Malacañang-backed committee, saying it did not address important issues about the economy and could not be subjected to financial analysis.
Aside from Dominguez, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno have also warned of the impact to the economy of a federalism shift.
In a forum on Wednesday, Diokno said the draft charter of the consultative committee “has so many issues,” including national debt payment.
Pernia cautioned about the effects of a shift to federalism to the regions that are not prepared for the transition.
These pronouncements of President Duterte’s economic managers have prompted Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, a member of the drafting committee, to question the commitment of the chief executive to federalism.
Pimentel said he respected everyone's freedom of expression. He, however, clarified that Dominguez is not against federalism.
"He is really for federalism. Kaya na-qualify niya yung statement niya. He is against this draft, sabi niya," he said.
"He is a party member. He is expected to be pro-federalism," he added.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, meanwhile, assured the public, "everyone in the Cabinet is pushing for federalism."
"It’s very good that they have analyzed the situation early para maitawid natin kung anong dapat gawin natin, 'di ba?" he said.