The Philippines is an archipelagic nation-state, having 7,107 islands, which are geographically distributed in 17 political regions. The three main island groups where the 7,107 islands are situated are Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Living in those islands are different multi-lingual people, also known as ethnic groupings. Based on the data of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), this country has 110 different ethnic societies. The NCIP calls them IP or indigenous people. Then, the major cultural segments are the Bisaya, the Kapampangan, the Ilokano, the Ilonggo and others.
Being a country with multiple and diversified people, the system of government is an issue. At present, the form of government being practiced is centralized or presidential, which is anchored on democracy. The main legal framework of governance is the Constitution of 1986.
However, this centralized form of government has been questioned. Its scope and efficiency have been debated. This issue has been surfacing these days as the year 2016 is about to start. The incoming year will be the time for the national elections to happen again, allowing the Filipino people to choose their preferred political leaders from top to bottom.
As the national elections is about to come next year, the debate on the form of government is on the hot seat again. Is the Centralized Form of Government really suitable for the Filipino people, knowing that this country caters different people, with different culture? If not the right form, what is then the better government system to address multiple ethnicities and cultural divergence?
Some academic and political experts have had suggested that the right form of government for the Filipino people is the so-called “Federalism.” This government system is being practiced already by many countries all over the world, like the United States of America. Under this system, generally speaking, there is still a central government (federal) but coupled by the recognition of the different states. Both the federal government and the states have their respective tasks and duties for the welfare of the constituents.
There are certain clear factors why there have been experts pushing for the shift from the presidential form of government to federalism. The intent of this article, however, is not to unfold ultimately the entire picture of Federalism, but only to cite the reasons why the Filipino people might really need a political transition.
On Cultural Relativism
Cultural relativism is a theory that favors on the idea of cultural equality. Contrary to ethnocentrism, cultural relativism implies that there is no superior culture. Every cultural mark must be respected. Every cultural practice should not be condemned. Every human being has the right to his or her own cultural knowledge and practices.
This theory is lightly discussed here to serve as a strong foundation of federalism. This form of government can really be the system needed by Filipinos, considering that this country is serving multiple ethnicities and cultural identities. Regarding better and more efficient government services, federalism will …