Sen. Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla visited on Sunday parts of Abra and Ilocos Sur, two areas hit hard by a devastating earthquake last July 27.
Padilla, who was with fellow Senator Bong Go, also distributed relief items to families affected by the quake.
After seeing for himself the extent of the devastation caused by the quake, Padilla stressed anew the need to shift to federalism to empower local government units to better respond to calamities.
“Ang gobyerno, hindi dapat reactive. Dapat proactive. Yan ang pederalismo. Ang pederalismo, binibigay ang kapangyarihan sa lokal para mabilis ang kanilang pagtugon kapag ganitong pagganap (The government should not be reactive. It should be proactive. That is what federalism will bring, because federalism will empower local governments to respond to calamities much quicker),” he said.
He noted that at present, much of the aid to the affected areas is coming from the national government whose head offices are based in Metro Manila. Because of this, he said, “ang laki ng delay (there is a delay in help).”
With a shift to federalism, Padilla said local government units will be empowered to respond to calamities.
“Kaya sana alam ko naman ako tutulungan ng aking idol senator (Bong Go) pag sinusulong natin ang federalism, dahil yan talaga ang kailangan ng bayan (I know Sen. Bong Go will help me in pushing for a shift to federalism because this is what our country needs),” said Padilla, who earlier filed Senate Resolution 6 calling for a review of provisions in the 1987 Constitution, including considering a shift to federalism and a parliamentary government.
In his resolution, Padilla said it is time to consider federalism to allow local governments to better address the needs of their constituents, instead of the current setup with centralized powers.