LOOK: The 12 Deputy Speakers of the 17th Congress
MANILA, Philippines – For the first time, the leadership of the House of Representatives named 12 deputy speakers.
The Lower House usually names just 6, but House Majority Leader Rudy Fariñas said earlier in August they have increased the number to test the waters for federalism.
The 12 deputy speakers are set to represent 12 autonomous regions that would arise should the Philippines become a federal state.
Apart from performing the functions of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in times of absences and temporary incapacity, the deputy speakers will be tasked to determine the needs of their respectives states under charter change.
Majority of the deputy speakers are from President Rodrigo Duterte's Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) or the parties that have coalesced with them.
Singson, Albano, and Garcia are from PDP-Laban; Alvarez and Hernandez are from the Nacionalist People's Coalition; Castro is from the National Unity Party; Abu and Cayetano are from the Nacionalista Party; Quimbo and Sema belong to the Liberal Party; and Arroyo is a member of Lakas-CMD.
Only Garin hails from a party list.
Their state assignments, however, are yet to be announced by the House leadership.
Duterte has long been championing for federalism because he said it would decentralize power and wealth away from "imperial" Manila.
Under federalism, the country is divided into autonomous states responsible over their own laws, finances, development, industries, infrastructure, education, and culture. (READ: Will federalism address PH woes? Pros and cons of making the shift)
The national government will take care of issues with nationwide bearing like foreign policy and national security. – Rappler.com