TANAY, Rizal – The officials and employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in the province of Rizal have gone through a one-day orientation on federalism, a system of government now being pushed by the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
DAR Rizal Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARO) Saturnino B. Bello said the activity has set sights on the long-standing queries of employees on federalism.
“Maraming tanong at gustong malaman ano ba itong federalism. This orientation allows us to acquire knowledge on federalism and discuss among ourselves and speakers its benefits to the nation and to the department,” Bello pointed out.
Among the leading speakers in the event include Director Leomides R. Villareal of the Public Assistance and Media Relations Service (PAMRS) of DAR Central Office and Asst. Dir. Priscilla E. Ong of DAR Region VI-A.
They were also joined by a representative from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
Asst. Dir. Ong said the orientation situated the DAR employees Rizal on the possible place of DAR and the scope of its services under a federal form of government.
She added that the status of DAR if the shift to a federal form of government is materialized, is among the foremost inquiries of officials and employees.
Dir. Villareal, on the other hand, emphasized that federalism will capacitate provinces and states to function and decide in terms of discretion in governance, the management of the economy, and natural resources.
“I am from Mindanao and I know our situation there. It’s very difficult. Napakahirap na i-fast-track ang mga programa at serbisyo upang mapataas ang antas ng kabuhayan ng mga tao. Hindi lamang sa Mindanao kundi pati na rin sa ating mga probinsiya dito sa Luzon at Visayas. Kailangan pa natin antayin kung kailan at magkano ang ibibigay sa atin ng central government,” he said.
Villareal also lauded the recent developments on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
BBL, he pointed out, is an entity more than an autonomy.
“BBL is a true manifestation of federalism. It is a state where the Moro people will legislate laws to strengthen their governance. Under such entity, they will also manage their economy and natural resources,” Villareal said.
DAR Rizal employees expressed gratification after the orientation, as they profess of achieving understanding, familiarity, and awareness on federalism.
They pledged to share their knowledge to other sectors who are also seeking information on federalism.
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