Monday, January 05, 2004

Parliamentary is best option for the Philippines

Proponents of the parliamentary system in the Philippine setting would claim the following:
1. There is no more gridlock in the passage of bills.
2. There is continuity in government programs. In the presidential system once there is a new sitting president, all projects started in the previous administration grounds to a halt.
3. The system is suited to our temperament. We want to change the administration? Go ahead, dissolve parliament.

Opponents of the parliamentary system say the following:
1. There is no more check and balance. The party in power can railroad any bills they want and pass it. There is no more president to balance things with the veto power.
2. The system is only good where there is a strong two-party system

Let's think about this check and balance thing. The president can always get his favorite bills passed. Just dangle the carrot of funds for the lawmakers' favorite projects.

The main thing about a parliamentary system is that it is cheaper. It takes 3 billion pesos for a presidential campaign. Where will the winner recoup his investment? From corruption, simple.

But what are the attendant evils to this 3B warchest? It does not come from the honest earnings of the candidate. Most of it comes from donation from businessmen.

We have been told that the big businessmen who want their businesses protected would contribute to the two leading candidates. That brings up the campaign cost to 6B.

In a parliamentary system, the candidates only spend for campaign in his/her district. The department heads are non-careers since they are also members of the parliament.

Cheaper for our country. Never mind the other problems. They are always there in whatever system you can think of for Filipinos.

I now believe the parliamentary system is not good for our country after all. There will be no more check & balance as provided by todays Senate or the executive branch. (Oct. 14, 2006)