“Pangasinan is a province of intelligent people and this event is a welcome development for Pangasinenses as it brings new ideas about constitutional reform.”
This was disclosed by Provincial Legal Officer Geraldine U. Baniqued as she represented Gov. Amado I. Espino III in welcoming the participants in the Constitutional Reform (CoRe) Provincial Roadshow-Convention Rally held on October 21 at the Sison Auditorium.
Spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Centre for Federalism and Constitutional Reform, the provincial road show was participated in by students of the Pangasinan State University-Lingayen Campus in the morning and local government officials to include mayors and vice mayors of different towns throughout the province in the afternoon.
In lauding the worthy undertaking, Atty. Baniqued noted that the forum served as a venue where “misconceptions on constitutional reform be clarified” as she further stated that the advantages of federalism will be clearly explained to the participants.
During the event, constitutional reform talk on different topics were undertaken to include three topics notably: Proposed Political and Electoral Reform Provisions to the 1987 Constitution; Proposed Amendments to Sec. 6 and 14 of Article X , 1987 Constitution; and the Economic Provisions.
As stressed by Prof. Jose Ramon Casiple who was one of the speakers in the morning session, the 1987 constitution was designed to solve the problems that time. Thus, he added, the country is heading towards global development which require constitutional reform.
Secretary Gary Bolivar, former economic spokesperson of then Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and now one of the fellows of the Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reforms of the DILG, said that “with federalism there will be 19 governments meaning one per region” and allegedly this will “make the government closer to the people and vice versa.”
LGU heads present in the afternoon session include the mayors of Asingan, Balungao, Bugallon, Laoac, Natividad, San Jacinto, San Quintin, San Manuel, Alcala, Anda and Umingan along with the vice mayors of Alcala, Asingan, Balungao, Bugallon, Labrador, and Calasiao.
The DILG regional directors of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union likewise attended the afternoon session together with some members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the academe.
It can be recalled that the DILG had since conducted nationwide road shows that aimed at raising awareness on the proposed shift to federalism from the present system of government.
The other speaker was Prof. Eric Daniel De Torres who is a Dagupeno. Ruby R. Bernardino / Photos by Jin Perez)