December 18, 2017
QUEZON CITY – Responding to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to be more aggressive in its public campaign advocating a federal system of government, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Catalino S. Cuy has designated a new administrator of the department’s Federalism and Constitutional Reform program.
Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, formerly Executive Director of the PDP Laban Federalism Institute, has been designated the campaign’s new administrator replacing Asst. Secretary Epimaco Densing III. Malaya was a former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education and of the Office of the President prior to joining the DILG.
Cuy says Malaya’s vast experience as executive director of the federalism institute, as government official, and his wide network in the academe and other sectors would enable the DILG to propel the federalism campaign to the grassroots level.
“As directed by President Duterte, the DILG needs to let the local governments and the ordinary people appreciate and understand how federalism will be able to change the course of our country and lead it towards development. And with Asec Malaya at the helm of the campaign, I am confident that we can make this happen,” he says.
For his part, Malaya says that starting 2018, the DILG will undertake a coordinated effort with other national government agencies and work with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to ensure that the entire government bureaucracy is part of the campaign.
“We have to have one voice and one messaging in the federalism campaign, otherwise, we would not be able to bring our message across to our countrymen on how a shift to federalism would impact on our country and our lives,” he says.
Malaya says that the DILG will also be working closely with the Senate and the House of Representatives in 2018. Recently, the lower house began plenary debates on a joint resolution calling for a Constituent Assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution.
In a speech during the PDP Laban’s Christmas Benefit Dinner for Marawi, Duterte urged members of Congress who are his party-mates to unite behind his proposal to amend the Constitution to address the Mindanao problem and to spur economic development across the country.
The DILG will also reach out to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) and the mass media to be able to explain to the public the benefits of federalism.
Malaya says the DILG will also begin consultations with the various local government leagues to make the campaign more inclusive and to make the shift to a federal system address the needs of local governments across the country.
As Executive Director of the Federalism Institute of the ruling party, Malaya spearheaded efforts in the development of the PDP Laban Model of Philippine Federalism 1.0 together with the Federalism Study Group composed of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, Dr. Eduardo Araral, Dr. Julio Teehankee, Prof. Mon Casiple, Prof. Edmund Tayao, Dr. Romulo Miral, Atty. Al Oxales, Atty. Benedicto Bacani, and Dr. Alex Brillantes, among others.
“The work of the Federalism Study Group is a collaborative effort of many minds who studied and researched extensively and got in touch with federalism experts from other countries on a federalism model suited for the Philippines. We can use it as a guide to develop and agree on what track we will take in the course of our federalism journey,” says Malaya.