The creation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Federalism and Constitutional Reform signals President Rodrigo Duterte’s full commitment to federalism, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Thursday.
“As the head agency tasked by President Duterte to advocate for federalism, we are happy with the creation of the interagency task force. This is clear evidence that the President is true to his promise for lasting change in the country,” Año said in a news release.
Año said the DILG expects public support for federalism to skyrocket by the end of 2018 with the formation of the IATF.
On Oct. 31, 2018, Malacañang issued Memorandum Circular No. 52 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, creating the IATF to spread public awareness on federalism.
With the DILG at the head and the Department of Justice as Vice Chair, the IATF is comprised of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Presidential Management Staff, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office, Office of the Political Adviser, Commission on Higher Education, Development Academy of the Philippines and the University of the Philippines Law Center.
The IATF is also tasked to “liaise with Congress” to remove all roadblocks that hamper constitutional reform.
DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said the IATF will bolster the federalism public awareness drive that the DILG is currently working on.
“We need all of government aboard this advocacy in order to properly and effectively disseminate correct information on federalism. And as the Chair of the IATF, the DILG will continue to uphold and further raise the banner for federalism in its advocacy to shift from a unitary form of government to a federal setup,” Malaya said.
He said the IATF will push for the Consultative Committee’s (ConCom) draft Bayanihan Federal Constitution and will process the comments received from the public on the proposal.
He added that the task force will also consult with the ConCom, different government agencies, private sector and the public on matters concerning federalism and constitutional reform.
“Federalism is not dead. Federalism is just getting started. Watch and see the birth of a new form of government,” Malaya said.