Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Thursday said he will push for charter change if he gets elected in the May 2022 elections.
Pacquiao said during a campaign sortie in Payatas, Quezon City that it is time for country to shift to a federal form of government, adding it is the answer to hastening progress in the countryside.
“Sa kasalukuyang sistema kasi bagama’t mayroon na tayong Local Government Code ay nasa national government pa rin ang kapangyarihan ng pagbibigay ng pondo para sa mga kinakailangang proyekto ng mga LGUs,” he said.
(In our present system despite having a Local Government Code, it is the national government which holds the power to grant funds for LGU projects.)
The Philippines is currently under a unitary form of government with power and authority vested in the central government.
Under a federal government, power is divided between the central government and local state governments.
Pacquiao said under a federal system, local government units will be able to address social, economic and political problems using ways most applicable to them.
“Kailangan baguhin na ang sistema ng gobyerno at amyendahan natin ang Konstitusyon sa pamamagitan ng Constitutional Convention at hindi Constituent Assembly para taumbayan ang magdesisyon,” he said.
(We need to change the system of government and amend the Constitution through Constitutional Convention so that the people will decide.)
He added that because of the prevailing system, local government officials are beholden to the national government especially the Department of Budget and Management that has the power whether to download the funding to them or not.
“Dapat direkta ng ibigay sa mga LGUs ang pondo ng hindi na hahawakan pa ng national government para hindi naman sila mukhang namamalimos sa pera na talaga namang nakalaan para sa kanila,” he said.
(Funds should be directed to the LGUs and not to the national government so they won't have to beg for funds rightfully allotted to them.)