The AKO BICOL Party-list, in partnership with the Provincial Government of Albay and the Federalismo Alyansa ng Bicol, will be hosting a forum on federalism named ‘For Peace and Progress: Federalism Now!’ on July 21, 2016 in the Albay Astrodome, Legazpi City. Headlining the event will be Davao del Norte First District Representative and Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez.
“President Rodrigo Duterte has pledged a change to a federal form of government in order to promote lasting peace and holistic economic growth throughout the Philippines, and we want to give Bicolanos ,and those interested as well, a headstart on what to expect and how they will benefit from this change”, said AKO BICOL Representative Christopher S. Co, “peace, growth, and coordination are praiseworthy goals especially in an administration that promises change, and an adjustment in our form of government might just be exactly what is needed to fulfil that promise”.
The Bicol-based party-list will be joining Governor Al Francis Bichara and the Provincial Government of Albay, as well as the Federalismo Alyansa ng Bicol, a lobby group of Bicolanos who have been pushing for regional autonomy and the control, regulation, and supervision over the exploitation, utilization, and development of Bicol’s natural resources since 2009.
“The fact that FAB has been present and petitioning for a federalist state since 2009 proves that it is not only Filipinos in Visayas and Mindanao that have been clamouring for change in our government, and but even constituents from Luzon outside Manila”, said AKO BICOL Representative Alfredo A. Garbin, “there has been a desire for a government that can correspond to the geological and cultural peculiarities of a country such as ours, given that the Philippines is an archipelagic state”.
Joining Speaker Alvarez will be Rodolfo F. Baldemor and Sonny J. Belzunce. Baldemor authored a book on federalism called Federalism and Development, and is also a Consultant for Rural Development with the World Bank. Belzunce is a Filipino-Australian balik-bayan who will be speaking about his experiences in federalist Australia.
The Federalism Now! Forum will be held from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM. For inquiries, please contact Patrixia Santos of the AKO BICOL Party-list via mobile at 09152992706 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.