Concom sees progressive Philippines with Federalism

By Rizalie Calibo


PressConferenceOnProposedFederalConstitution (8)
Members of the Consultative Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution (from left) Retired Navy Commodore Rex Robles, Atty. Ferdinand Bocobo, Prof. Eddie Alih, and Prof. Edmund Tayao during the press conference on the proposed Federal Constitution on held on June 17 to 18, 2018 at Southview Hotel, Dumaguete City. (PIA7-NegOr)

Members of the Consultative Committee (ConCom) to Review the 1987 Constitution assert that federalism brings progress to the country as it gives power to the people, and to the regions.

In a press conference on Proposed Federal Constitution at the Southview Hotel in Dumaguete City on June 17, 2018, ConCom member, Prof. Eddie Alih said that under the federal form of government, powers are downloaded to the regions, and that will make a “Progressive Philippines.”

“Federalism is the answer to effective governance of archipelagic country like the Philippines,” he said citing that in the current unitary centralized form of government, powers are concentrated in what he calls imperialist Manila.

“We are all witness to the highly centralized form of the government,” Prof. Alih said citing the little power given to the local government units and the regions.

“Matagal na ang paghihirap (we have long been suffering). This is the chance. Ayoko na ang more than 50% or 26 million na Filipino ay laging maghihirap (I don’t want the 50% plus or 26 million Filipinos to suffer in poverty). Federalism may not be a miracle, but it is the beginning,” he said.

In the current configuration, according to Prof. Edmund Tayao, regions have only the Regional Development Councils (RDCs), that are administrative in character.

“All they do are to exchange notes of what their priorities are and try to coordinate with line agencies. ” adds Prof. Edmund Tayao.

He said RDCs cannot decide on their own and they do not have resources, or even if they have, they cannot decide what they do with the resources.

With the proposed constitution, federated regions do not only have the resources, they will control these resources, and they have the authority to decide [what to do with it], he said.

Full federalization, Tayao admitted, cannot happen overnight.

“What the constitution can provide is only the benchmark for the start off point, that is to start with what is existing right now,” he said.

“We cannot radically change the configuration right away without disrupting the current operation of government. So less disruption, the better, kasi pag ginulo natin yan, baka maputol pati yong mga serbisyo na inaasahan ng mga tao,” Tayao added.

The strategy should be to work with the existing configuration without prejudice to possible reconfiguration later, he pointed out.

“We have to learn from what it was, and restructure according to how we intend ourselves to be in the near future, and look at what it needs to be done so that current problems can be addressed,” he also said.

Currently, the technical working group has made substantial configuration with understanding of what is the ideal number of regions.

We start with the existing, we start with what we have right now and give incentives for convergence, Tayao said expecting Mindanao to eventually revolve to three federated regions: Bangsamoro, Northern, and the Eastern Mindanao.

While admitting yet the need to have “a better grasp of the Visayas,” Tayao said Negros Island can probably consider Siquijor to be part of the region.

To know more about the Proposed Constitution, Tayao, with the three other ConCom members guesting the presscon, urged the public to read the draft and understand entirely what this constitution is all about.

ConCom is created through an Executive Order signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 7, 2016 but was formed only on February 19 , 2018.

Crafting of the new constitution was started on February 19 led by chief Justice Reynato Puno.



DOST showcases NegOr products in Cebu innovation summit

By Jennifer C. Tilos

Negros Oriental showcased its best products under the small enterprise technology upgrading program (SETUP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) during an Innovation Summit in Cebu City recently.

Proprietor-beneficiaries of SETUP presented their products as well as the benefits of the program in celebration of Cebu Business Month.

Negros Oriental products on display during the exhibit in an Innovation Summit held in Cebu City as part of Cebu Business Month Celebration (photo courtesy of DOST-NegOr).

Selected micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the province which include Subida Souvenirs, Day 8 Tisoy Condiments Corporation and Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries had the opportunities to display their best products at the exhibit hall, according to DOST.

Innovative coconut products including bestsellers Tisoy Spiced Coconut Vinegar and Tisoy Sweet Chili Sauce were presented by Danilo Cabahug, president and CEO of Day 8 Tisoy Condiments Corporation.

Engr. Reinhold Jek Abing of DOST said Cabahug of the vinegar company was pleased of the outcome of the exhibit saying it paved way for inquiries for possible orders from top hotels in Cebu.

Other unique cultural wooden items and figurines by Subida Souvenirs exhibited the Dumaguete tricycle, Valencia “ligiron” and the iconic jeepney.

While famous ‘silvanas’ from Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries were displayed in the summit. The company has stores at the Robinsons Galleria Cebu and Robinsons Fuente.

Moreover President and CEO of Raw Brown Sugar Milling Co., Inc. Atty. Alejandro Alcantara talked about “Stimulating Innovation in Increasing Growth Potential, the DOST SETUP Experience” during the breakout session of the Innovation Summit.

Organizers of the event include Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (CCCI) in partnership with the Province of Cebu and City of Cebu.

Event partners also include the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), Cebu Design Week, Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. (CFIFI) and European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).

International Dance XChange free public shows

By Jennifer C. Tilos

International Dance Exchange

The public are invited to watch the live performances of the various national and international dance groups that are participating in this year’s Dance Xchange slated April 26 to April 30.

Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo lauded the National Commission for Culture and the Arts for choosing Dumaguete City as host of the 2018 international dance workshop and festival in recognition to the city’s great tradition in promoting dance as a performing art.

Fourteen foreign countries are represented by their respective cultural dance groups: China, Indonesia, England, Korea, Hongkong, Bangladesh, Malaysia, India, Hawaii, Russia, Poland, Thailand, Japan and Turkey. While about 25 participating dance groups coming from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are also represented.

Besides the workshops, the various local and international dance troupes will conduct outreach performances not only in Dumaguete City but also in the neighboring towns and cities.

The following

1. Mabinay – China, Thailand and Bangladesh
2. Tanjay City – Indonesia and Turkey
3. Pamplona – Malaysia and Poland
4. Amlan – India, Hawaii and Japan

5.Dumaguete City



1. Bayawan City – England and Korea
2. Valencia – China, Bangladesh and Malaysia
3. Bais City – Hongkong and China
4. Manjuyod – India and Hawaii

5.Dumaguete City – MANUEL L. QUEZON PARK @ 7:00PM



Come and experience the foreign cultures as expressed in their distinct national dances