MANILA - A senator doubts if the proposal of President Rodrigo Duterte's consultative committee to divide the country into 18 federal states will work, given the large amount of revenue each state will have to generate in order to fund all its towns and cities.
Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri, who calls himself a federalist, believes Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao will be the better federal states as they can generate enough income to meet the needed internal revenue allotment (IRA).
"Can the federal states earn enough income to pay the IRA of each and every city or municipality of the federal state?" he said in a press briefing, noting that recommended IRA for a region should be at least P30 billion to P40 billion.
Under the present Constitution, internal revenue allotment is the local government unit's share of revenue from the national government. But in the proposed federal charter, each state will have to generate its own income through taxes.
Zubiri, the Senate majority leader, said this was just one of the many issues that needs to be addressed in the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
"My goodness! It took us a year to deliberate on the Bangsamoro organic law. And this is only for one region," noted the senator who is also a panel member of the Bicameral Conference Committee tackling the Bangsamoro Basic Law.