Federal Regions In More Competitive Environment For Investment
The President of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Perry L. Pe, said that the Philippine government's possible move to federalism may be positive for businesses. He said that the federalist form of government would provide each region the set of rules it deems attractive to investment. This allows regional competition instead of focusing solely on national agencies in Manila.
"The one thing that excites us about federalism is the competition among regions... As far as that concerned, we love (federalism). In terms of competition, it would bring out the best in business," said Mr. Pe.
He added that the current setup of the government does not support such regional competition because the business climate revolves around Metro Manila.
"Everything has to be Manila. Everything has to be approved by Manila. When I say region, they will approve their own business process. So if they got an Ilocos Region vs a Visayan region, they would try to compete to get the companies, the BPOs, to settle there," he explained.
Mr. Pe clarified that the association would support any changes that are necessary to improve the business. He also noted the need to improve the ease of doing business and tax reform.
President Rodrigo Duterte, even during his campaign, has been very vocal about his intention to introduce a shift in the form of government.
Earlier last month, Germany has expressed its willingness to assist the Philippines in its possible transition from unitary to federal form of government.
"We are happy to share our experience with a federal system and contribute to discussions in other countries," Michael Hasper, charge d' affairs of the German Embassy in Manila said in a recent forum in Makati.
The House committee on constitutional amendments approved a resolution in October that calls for the Congress to organize itself as a Constituent Assembly for the amendment of the 1987 Charter.