20 June 2006

Barcelona, the World Urban Forum and federalism

ON MY way home two weekends ago, I engaged Inquirer columnist and noted Bikolano cookbook author Honesto General in a quick chat while waiting for our flight. Tio Oning is a true-blue Nagueño who keynoted our Bicol Express cooking demo for Tipanan 2005 in Intramuros, Synergeia's signature annual cultural event. Inevitably, our conversation veered towards politics.

Among followers of his "Questions of Policies" column, General's aversion towards a parliamentary and federal forms of government, in that order, is well known. As one who has a soft spot for the latter, I wanted to know why.

From our conversation, General's beef against federalism can be summarized as (1)
structural - our reverse approach, which would call for the unitary Philippine state to break up into smaller regional states, has no precedent worldwide; and (2) operational - from the feasibility of adding another layer (the regional government) to the system, to such trivial but sure-to-be-divisive issues (e.g., which would become the regional center, Naga or Legazpi?).

These are interesting points that have merit, and they are questions that federalists must squarely and convincingly address if the advocacy were to move forward in a big way. If there is something that the academia in the region (perhaps jointly led by my alma mater Bicol University and Ateneo de Naga University) can concretely contribute to the debate, this would be it.


Offhand, my gut feel (as I intimated to Tio Oning) is that for the long run, a federal form of government can make things better for today's worse-off regions. It fits with and recognizes our regional identities. I don't believe that because something has no precedent automatically means it cannot be done; there
is always a first time. And operational headaches can be addressed by consensus building among elected leaders or through democratic mechanisms (a plebiscite or a referendum). The development and strengthening of regional identities towards something more concrete will be helped by finding common grounds instead of issues that divide. Toward this end, a groundbreaking academic inquiry on the feasibility of creating a Bikol state will certainly go a long way.

In this journey, Bikolanos and other regional groupings in the country should be interested in
what's happening in Spain nowadays. Just last week, Catalunya (which has Barcelona as seat of the regional government) voted themselves greater autonomy in a referendum, which observers say will only continue to weaken Madrid's central control. If the Catalans' accomplishment represent an approximate endpoint to our own journey, then a lot more needs to be done beyond mere rhetorics.

By the way, Barcelona hosted the 2004 World Urban Forum, whose 2006 edition opened yesterday in Vancouver. I had the privilege of attending a side event there, mainly to read a paper. Which explains above's serious visage of a 'lone wolf' having difficulty in taking a picture of himself in the city's own version of Arc de Triomphe:)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can you put ringtones on an iphone from somewhere where you do not have to pay for them.
[url=http://unlockiphone22.com]unlock iphone[/url] [url=http://yesabilene.com/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=920#920]unlock iphone[/url]

Anonymous said...

New Free Hosting 1GB Service!

http://www.motionsharing.com

Join US! Free / FAST File hosting!

NO Advertising or so! Free For Ever! NO LIMIT!

Anonymous said...

Defensive Driving is essentially driving in a technique that utilizes out of harm's way driving strategies to enables motorists to hail identified hazards in a expected manner.
These strategies skim through immeasurably beyond instruction on underlying transport laws and procedures.

With defensive driving classes, students learn to fix up their driving skills by reducing their driving risks during anticipating situations and making harmless hip decisions.
Such decisions are implemented based on procedure and environmental conditions register when completing a solid driving maneuver.
The benefits of enchanting a defensive driving pedigree reorganize with each state, but often comprehend a reduction of points on your driver’s entitle following a ticket and the coolness that insurance rates will not increase.
In some states, taking a [url=http://www.floridatrafficinstitute.com] florida traffic school [/url] class can via a reduction of up to 10% in your security rates on a era of three to five years.
Just as the benefits of defensive driving classes reshape with each state, so do the requirements. While most basic defensive driving classes are four hours extended, some can be as extensive as six or eight hours.

In some states, students own the choice to engage defensive driving courses online or nearby watching a video record or DVD, while other states merely concede students to take defensive driving in a classroom setting.
The contents of a defensive driving routine are regulated at near each state and are designed to exercise you based on the laws of your state. Anyway, most defensive driving classes contain similar information.

Losses from above crashes get both popular and adverse impacts.
About 41,000 on annually as a result of shipping collisions, with an additional 3,236,000 injuries.
Wide 38% of all fatal auto crashes are demon rum connected with another 30% attributed to speeding.

The causes of these crashes, excitable influence and rate in dollars burnt- on heap crashes are typically covered in defensive driving courses.
The object of flattering defensive driving is to diet the jeopardy of these accidents by becomingly educating students to burden caution and good judgment while driving.

On the roadways, drivers take to stock with a variety of factors that can strike their driving.
Yet some of them are beyond the conduct of the driver, subjective factors can be controlled by the driver if he knows what to look representing and how to handle it.

Defensive driving courses tend to cynosure clear on how drivers can overcome pessimistic spiritual factors such as unneeded tension, weary, high-strung agony and other interrelated issues.
The florida traffic kind courses purpose help you remove points from your license. Additional tidings choose be posted at a later date.