Duterte accepts federalism unlikely to pass in Congress – Bong Go

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 10) — President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted that passing federalism in the 18th Congress would still be a long shot, Senator-elect Bong Go said Monday.

“Actually nagkausap din po kami ni Pangulong Duterte tungkol sa federalism, sabi niya mukhang mahihirapan tayo sa ngayon,” Go said in a media briefing.

[Translation: Actually I talked to President Duterte regarding federalism. He said we’d find it difficult for now.]

The shift to a federal form of government has been one of Duterte's campaign promises. The House of Representatives passed a federal charter on third and final reading in the 17th Congress, but no counterpart measure was filed in the Senate.

Go, who once served as special assistant to the chief executive, said officials should prioritize educational campaigns for the public to better understand federalism.

Sa ngayon, medyo malayo at mahihirapan pa tayo. Para sa akin, priority is ipa-intindi muna sa tao. Acceptability ng publiko muna,” he said.

[Translation: For now, we’re far from it, and we will have a hard time. For me, the priority is to make people aware, the public’s acceptance.]

READ: PDP-Laban stalwarts admit federalism still unlikely to pass in next Senate

CNN Philippines Correspondent Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.