Federalism is a ‘hot button’ topic in the country today, with no less than President Rody Duterte pushing for its adoption. 

With the ongoing debates and different views of people about the issue, state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) took the initiative to highlight this as one of the main topics in the observance of the 15th Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) this September.  

An annual nationwide celebration led by PIDS by virtue of Malacanang Proclamation 247 signed in 2002, the DPRM aims to promote awareness of the importance of evidence-based research in program planning and policymaking in government.

This year’s theme is “Strengthening Decentralization for Regional Development” or “Pagpapatibay ng Desentralisasyon Tungo sa Kaunlarang Panrehiyon” to emphasize the need for in-depth reflections and evidence-based analyses not just on federalism but also on decentralization reforms in general.

“Our main objective is to provide thorough evaluations and studies to aid legislators in formulating appropriate policy interventions on the proposed shift to a federal form of government,” explained PIDS President Gilberto Llanto. 

Promotion and publicity

To commence the research policy month this year, PIDS, in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), held a press conference at the PIA office in Quezon City on Tuesday (September 5). 

According to Llanto, a series of media roadshows will also follow in Zamboanga, Cebu, Legazpi, and Baguio to increase people’s awareness on the DPRM and convey to them the key messages of the theme.

“This is our way to drumbeat the DPRM celebration and more importantly, to provide avenues for more inclusive and critical discourse on federalism and decentralization reforms,” said Llanto.

Joining PIDS during the regional media roadshows are officials and representatives from different government agencies particularly the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Finance-Bureau of Local Government Finance, Department of Budget and Management, and National Economic and Development Authority.

Llanto added that the main event of the DPRM is the 3rd Annual Public Policy Conference happening on September 19, 2017 at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas.

The conference, which carries the theme “Critical Perspectives on Federalism for Regional Development”, will gather the country’s most prominent scholars of public finance, governance, political science, and public administration to share their perspectives on federalism and decentralization reforms for regional development. 

“We need to gather different views and do a lot of probing and comprehensive researches about the major issue at hand, so we can come up with well-informed and sound policy recommendations for our lawmakers,” Llanto pointed out.

Earlier, the DILG, through the request of PIDS, issued a memorandum circular enjoining local government units to participate in the DPRM celebration by displaying the DPRM banner within the premises of their offices, featuring DPRM announcements in their dissemination outlets, or organizing activities or events related to the theme or to policy research. ##

Details on this year’s theme and activities are available on the DPRM website at http://dprm.pids.gov.ph/

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