ASOG Launches Handbook on Federalism
21 Dec 2017
As a response to the call for more discussions about Federalism in the Philippines, the Ateneo School of Government (ASOG), through the Ateneo Policy Center, spearheaded the publication of a handbook in a question-and-answer format titled, “Debate on Federal Philippines: A Citizen’s Handbook”, published by the Ateneo de Manila University Press with the support of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. The authors, Eduardo Araral, Jr., Paul Hutchcroft, Gilberto Llanto, Jonathan Malaya, Ronald Mendoza, and Julio Teehankee, responded to thirty-eight (38) questions that may arise in any discourse on such issue. “While they have collectively engaged in extensive research and work on the topic, no claims is made here that all answers are settled by this handbook.”
On December 14, 2017, Thursday, the Book Launch and Discussion was organized at Kamia Room, EDSA Shangri-La, Mandaluyong City, to formally release the book to the public. Ms. Maria Karina Bolasco, Director of the Ateneo de Manila University Press, delivered the welcome remarks and noted the Press’ role in the discourse through the handbook. Among the six (6) authors, Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya, Dr. Julio Teehankee, and Dr. Ronald Mendoza were able to attend and gave messages on the book’s relevance to the conversation of national importance. Dr. Teehankee talked about the various points of the debate, and presented answers, just like how the book was intended to be. Asec. Malaya emphasized the book’s relevance to the discussion on Federal Philippines that has already been going on for decades. As the Dean of ASOG, Dr. Mendoza thanked the support of the authors and emphasized the book’s goal to “encourage the readers of this handbook—notably the youth—to use this as a basis for reaching out to more Filipinos.”
Hon. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., former Senate President, and Comm. Florangel Rosario-Braid, a Member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission, were invited to give reactions and comments to the handbook. As an icon of Philippine local autonomy and author of Local Government Code of 1991, Sen. Pimentel presented his detailed comments on the arguments presented by each author and expressed gratitude to the Ateneo School of Government for leading such publication. He also warned that the shift to a Federal Philippines should not be left to the will of legislators alone, but must be presented to the Filipino people for their understanding and approval. Comm. Braid talked about the various pros and cons of Federalism raised in the handbook and throughout the years.
After the commentaries, Mr. Melo Acuna, Director of CBCP Online Radio, facilitated the Open Forum, where the audience was able to engage with the authors and reactors. The event ended with the book signing.
The book is priced at PhP 220. It can be purchased at Ateneo de Manila University Press Office, Loyola Heights, Quezon City or through online orders. It will be available in leading bookstores soon.