Federalism, The Long-Term Cure to Traffic Mess

Automologist HAROLD believes that urban migration is the root cause to the terrible traffic congestion in the Philippines, and changing the form of government to Federalism would provide a major long-term solution to this traffic mess.

You might think it is long shot. But that is exactly the point. The Philippines is so used to providing short term “band-aid” solutions to serious problems that it only solves the symptoms, but not the root cause. One of the most annoying and disturbing problems, especially during the recent Christmas holidays, is the horrible traffic mess that converted Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao into a parking lot. And what makes it more irritating is that people, especially politicians, started blaming others and not themselves instead of offering a solution.

Image source.

To cure the problem, let us find the root cause. I believe it is urban migration, driven by the search for a better life. Wealth, jobs and income opportunities are centralized in urban areas, particularly Metro Manila. This exodus from the provinces to the cities caused housing congestion, increased crime rates, unemployment and traffic congestion in the metropolis.

But, instead of de-centralizing, the present presidential form of government is promoting centralized governance. We vote for our President and Vice President centrally. We have a budget allocation and releasing system that is centrally approved by the President. This is the reason why opportunistic politicians change affiliation to the party of the new President after a presidential election. National wealth is unevenly distributed and not democratized. Mindanao, for instance, contributes a huge portion of national income but receives a meagre portion of the budget—this is partly the cause for the rebellion and civil unrest in Mindanao.

President Duterte—whose popularity does not seem to slide down despite all his alleged extrajudicial killings and his detractors’ syndicated attacks and propaganda—has offered Federalism as the long-term solution to urban migration, corruption, urban crimes, housing and traffic congestion, and uneven distribution of income opportunities. It is now being discussed in the Senate and the Lower House. Duterte offered to resign and give way to the new Prime Minister under the new Federal form of government. So, anti-Duterte people should support Federalism to get rid of him?

What are the advantages of the Federal form of government?

  1. It decentralizes the bureaucracy and expedites government service;
  2. It empowers the federal states to generate more income and foreign investments;
  3. It encourages people to leave the Metropolis and relocate to the federal states, decongesting the squatter areas and the traffic on the roads;
  4. It stops this centralized patronage politics that is one of the major causes of corruption.
  5. It gives opportunities to budding entrepreneurs from the provinces that have been suppressed by the taipans of the imperial Manila and Cebu.


Oh, some people are afraid of change! Who are these who fear change? Only the rich elites who have been enriched by the present system of government. They are so fearful that their empires will collapse.

So, in conclusion: the long-term solution to traffic mess is Federalism! What do u think?

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