Minimum of one senator per region in the Philippines – Zamboanga Hermosa
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Minimum of one senator per region in the Philippines

The Philippines is already divided into 17 regions with cities, municipalities and provinces within each of the regions. These 17 regions are divided as follows: 7 regions in Luzon, 4 regions in the Visayas, 6 regions in Mindanao.Each region is already well represented by the house of representatives (congressmen). However, the senate does not represent the regions properly.

Currently (2016-2019) the senate is only represented by one(1) senator from the Visayas, and only three(3) from Mindanao. The other 20 senators are from Luzon and 15 of them are from Metro Manila. Do you call this proper representation of the people in the Philippines?

That is where the disparity is. The lack of representation of the far flung barangays.

Wouldn’t it be more uniform if Mindanao had at least 6 senators to represent each of the 6 regions of Mindanao?

With the current state of affairs a candidate needs millions of pesos to be a senatorial candidate. Because his/her campaign must be nationwide and is only directed at the most populous cities and municipalities to guarantee the most votes. Plus the comelec is prejudiced in the acceptance of certificate of candidacy.

How often have you witnessed the COMELEC declare a provincial senatorial candidate as a nuisance candidate. The comelec is in cahoots with the big time money makers in the metro manila area. Unless the provincial candidate has millions of pesos and big time connections his/her chance for even being accepted by the COMELEC is hopeless.

However, with the mandatory regional senatorial representation the senatorial candidates must come from each of the 17 regions of the Philippines. Even the poorest region will have a senator to represent them. And their senator will be elected by them and not by voters from another region. The senator will be accountable to voters within the region he/she will represent.

If you are from Davao Region, you are guaranteed one senator. If you are from the Zamboanga Peninsula region, you are guaranteed one senator. If you are from eastern Visayas region, you are guaranteed one senator. Each region must have a minimum of one senator to represent in the legislative branch of the government.

 Minimum of one senator per Region. No more imperial Manila.

Each senator will be elected from the region they represent. Senatorial election will no longer be a national election where the rich and popular from the NCR region (metro manila) will dominate the list of candidates. The senatorial election will be regional. The only position that will be elected via national election will be the president and vice-president of the Philippines. The rest will be by region (senators), by province (governors/congressmen), by municipalities/cities (mayors,councilors,congressmen). Senatorial representation by region will have the effect of flattening the power structure. Regional problems and concerns within a national view can be addressed more effectively. A senator’s performance, accountability, and electability become meaningful to a more defined and identifiable regional constituency. As an example: The senator for Region VII (Eastern Visayas) will be elected by the registered voters within Region VII (Eastern Visayas) and not by the registered voters of the other regions. The number of senatorial representation for each region will be determined by population, the minimum is one per region.

Currently our senators don’t care, they are not held accountable locally.

Let us make the senators accountable for their actions or inability to prosper the nation. With the current political structure the senators think they are immune. Once elected they only think of the capital region of the Philippines. If the senate members are elected from the each of the 17 regions of the Philippines, they will think twice about not properly representing their region.

If they do not represent the region properly they will not be re-elected. They can’t get support anywhere else. A senator from Iloilo can’t campaign to the people from Cebu for support. Each regional senator to his own region. Accountability will help control the beast.

What Regions are currently represented? There are 17 regions

Only 6 regions are represented. No wonder the Philippines is messed up! Imagine that! 11 regions not represented.

  1. NCR
    1. Edgardo J. Angara 1987–1998; 2001–2007; 2007-2013; 2013-2019: NCR: Quezon City, Luzon
    2. Paolo “Bam” Benigno Aguirre Aquino IV 2013-2019: NCR
    3. Maria Lourdes Nancy Sombillo Binay 2013-2019: NCR, Makati
    4. Alan Peter S. Cayetano 2007–2013; 2013-2019: NCR: Taguig City, Metro Manila, Luzon
    5. Joseph Victor Gomez “JV Estrada” Ejercito 2013-2019
    6. Sherwin Gatchalian 2016-2022: From Valenzuela City – NCR (Luzon)
    7. Gregorio B. Honasan II 1995–2001, 2001–2004, 2007–2013; 2013-2019: Manila, Luzon
    8. Ana Theresia Hontiveros 2016-2022: From: Manila – NCR (Luzon)
    9. Loren B. Legarda 1998-2004; 2007–2013; 2013-2019: Manila, Luzon
    10. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares 2013-2019: From Iloilo City but lives in NCR
    11. Franklin M. Drilon 2010-2016, 2016-2022: Iloilo City, Iloilo, Visayas but lives in Metro Manila
    12. Francis N. Pangilinan 2001–2007; 2007-2013; 2016-2022: From Manila – NCR (Luzon)
    13. Ralph G. Recto – 2010-2016; 2016-2022: Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Lipa City, Batangas; Luzon
    14. Vicente C. Sotto III – 1992-1998; 1998-2004; 2010-2016: 2016-2022: Quezon City, Metro Manila – Luzon
    15. Antonio F. Trillanes IV 2007–2013; 2013-2019: Caloocan City, Luzon
    16. Cynthia “Hanepbuhay” Aguilar Villar 2013-2019: Las Piñas City, Luzon
  2. Region 3 – Central Luzon
    1. Richard J Gordon 2004-2010; 2016-2022: Zambales – Region III (Luzon)
    2. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva 2016 -2022: From the province of Bulacan – Region III (Luzon)
  3. Region IV-A – CALABARZON
    1. Panfilo M. Lacson 2004-2010, 2016-2022: Cavite – Region IV-A (Luzon)
  4. Bicol Region (V)
    1. Leila Norma Eulalia Josefa De Lima 2016-2022: Camarines Sur – Region V(Bicol) (Luzon)
    2. Francis Joseph G. Escudero 2007–2013; 2013-2019: Sorsogon City, Luzon
  5. Region X – Mindanao
    1. Aquilino “Koko” Martin De La Llana Pimentel III 2013-2019: Misamis Oriental, Region 10 Mindanao
    2. Juan Miguel Zubiri – 2007–2013; 2016-2022: From Mindanao Bukidnon Province – Region X (Mindanao)
  6. Region XII (Soccsksargen) – Mindanao
    1. Emmanuel Pacquiao 2016-2022: From Mindanao Sarangani Province – Region XII (Mindanao)

Minimum of one senator per region is better than Federalism

Many are blind to the fact that the Philippines with its unitary form of government is one of the fastest growing nation in the world. We have been lauded as one of the best countries to invest in. Our GDP has been growing steadily and the infrastructure developments have been scaled up in the last decade. The bottom 3 regions who spend more money than it generates have been steadily getting influx of capitalism to improve their economy. If it were a federal form of government these 3 poorest regions (states) will starve. They will not be able to sustain. They are only sustaining and improving now because of our unitary form of government.

Federalism in the Philippines is pushed by four types of People.

  1. The first one is by the Muslims (Moros) because they want an Islamic state of their own. Federalism guarantees them an Islamic State.
    The Moros(Muslims) leaders are not satisfied with the ARMM even though it has autonomy. The common people are satisfied with the ARMM but the militias of the ARMM, the MNLF and the MILF are not satisfied. These militias are pushing for federalism because it will give the muslim leaders more control over their people. This federalism is about power and control over the common folks.
  2. The second is by the greedy (Kanya-Kanya) mentality who are also the proponents of political dynasties.
    Politics in the Philippines is built out of political dynasties. The current president R. Duterte, comes from a political dynasty. These politicians do not want to relinquish the power that their families have over the people. Federalism guarantees them that their dynasty will not only survive but will in fact grow and prosper. These people push the idea that federalism will allow each state to control their own budget and to control their own destiny for growth. This is their bait. They dangle this apple that is full of greed and selfishness. They do not discuss the fact that the Philippines is currently one of the fastest growing countries in the world. They do not mention this because it will destroy their plan.
  3. The third are the ignorant, the blind followers or the minions of the proponents of this type of federalism in the Philippines.
    These minions do not care to be educated about this type of federalism in the Philippines. They think they know federalism. They think that the federalism in other countries will be the same as this one for the Philippines. They do not care to understand that this federalism in the Philippines has the Bangsamoro Islamic State poison pill in it.
  4. The fourth are those who are paid to say yes. They are just chasing MONEY. They will do anything for MONEY.

Four Regions of the Philippines make up 68% of the yearly GDP of the Philippines

Don’t be tempted by the push of Federalism. The proponents of Federalism insists that imperial metro manila hogs all the income of the Philippines and that very little is being distributed to the rest of the Philippines. They are even insisting that the money of the poor provinces go to finance Metro Manila. These are all lies. It is in fact the other way around. Metro Manila is financing the poor provinces. The proponents of federalism are twisting the truth and present you with lies.

Here is the top four regions in the Philippines and where their earning capacity relates to the total earnings of the Philippines.

  1. The national capital region (NCR) or metro manila earns 37% of the GDP of the Philippines.
  2. Region IV-A Calabarzon earns 16% of the GDP of the Philippines.
  3. Region III or Central Luzon earns 9% of the GDP of the Philippines.
  4. Region VII (Central Visayas) earns 6% of the GDP of the Philippines.

It does not take a genius to figure out that the politicians of these 4 regions would want to push for federalism. They would get to keep most their money. Currently, their money is being distributed throughout the philippines to help develop the poorer regions who are spending more than what they are earning.

With the unitary form of government the NCR doesn’t get to spend all its earnings. Over 40% of its earning are distributed throughout the Philippines. This makes the politicians of the NCR upset.

The federal form of government will be a dream come true for the selfish politicians who do not wish to share their wealth. Is the federal form of government good for all the regions? NO! Economically the bottom 4 will suffer. The ARMM is the poorest of the bottom 4 regions but it does not care because it has a different agenda. Its agenda is not economical. Its agenda is political and religious. The ARMM simply wants to become an Islamic state without care or concern for the other regions.

These 4 regions will SUFFER without Federal Bailout in a Federal form government

These Regions spend more than what they earn. Under the unitary form of government, year in and year out, our central government has been and will continue to infuse money into these regions. Capital infusion continues to develop these regions. But if our form of government will change from the unitary to the federal form of government these 4 regions will have to fend for themselves. Their economic progress will halt. They will concentrate on just trying to survive vs improving infrastructure.

  1. ARMM – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao : Mindanao
  2. Caraga – REGION XIII : Mindanao
  4. REGION 14 Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in Luzon : Luzon

If you are from these 4 regions, convince your leaders not to support federalism. Under federalism, you will no longer get the support that you have been getting. Your infrastructure development will suffer. If you think you are not getting enough right now, wait till you are under federalism, you will get less.

Here is an example of what the Federalism Greed can do a people

The City of Zamboanga since 1989 has been against the ARMM. When the bangsamoro basic law was introduced in 2007, Zamboanga City was at the forefront campaigning adamantly against the BBL. In 2014 when the Bangsamoro re-surfaced with a great vigor, Zamboanga City again was first in leading the pack against the Bangsamoro.

However, with this new push towards federalism, the majority of the zamboangueños have changed their tune. They are now willing to concede with the idea of allowing the Bangsamoro to have their own state within the federal government, because now they know that they can have their own state too. Greed is now getting the best of the zamboangueños. They are now dreaming of their own state and possibly their own country.

The Philippines is one of the fastest growing countries in the world not because of federalism. The Philippines is a unitary form of government and with good leadership it will continue to grow to be prosperous.

Last Updated on January 21, 2022

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