PUBLiCUS Founder and CEO Ma. Lourdes Tiquia was invited as one of the speakers in the recently concluded National Dialogue of Federalists last July 14, 2018 in Davao City. With the theme “Achieving a Unified Voice of Federalists for Broader Dissemination,” the event gathered passionate and committed Federalists across the country in an opportunity to simplify and deepen further their familiarization of the Philippine version of a Federal system and recent updates on the matter. The event also aimed to equip and inspire the participants to communicate their newly acquired knowledge on the said issue to special sectors of the society yet misinformed on the matters.
Tiquia provided an Orientation on the Process – and discussed how the Federalism agenda can move forward. Tiquia said federalists should strive to set aside their differences and focus on what could unite them in order to achieve their goals.
Tiquia noted that advocates should leverage on the fact that Federalism has been identified as a “Legacy Agenda” of the Duterte administration. President Duterte has said that one reason why he was convinced to run for president was the chance to push for federalism, which gives more power to local governments. This is something that Mindanaoans like Duterte had long advocated for after having suffered through decades of neglect by the Manila-centric national government.
At the moment, several drafts and so many people are trying to push for the advocacy, which can serve as a strong pressure group on Congress to enact the legislation. She is also optimistic that if the people champion the effort, minus the politics, success of the plebiscite is promising.
Tiquia closed her presentation by urging federalism advocates to put the welfare of the country first and remember that the main goal of going federal is to realize real development in the country. “Stop thinking short-term. Dream. Aspire for more. Learn to think long-term and see where the country can be.”