By Genalyn Kabiling
A new government task force has been created to launch a massive public information drive on the proposed shift to a federal government, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque confirmed that new group, which might have an initial funding of P90 million, seeks to raise public awareness about federalism starting at the barangay level.
“I can confirm that there’s an inter-governmental task force created and we had met already. This was two days ago,” Roque said during a press conference in Zamboanga Sibugay.
“We have initially agreed on the strategy. We will bring down or dissemination to the level of barangay. We will focus on training the trainers and we will utilize mass media as well for this dissemination,” he added.
Apart from Roque, the new government task force will also include Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.
Roque said an initial P40 million has been identified for the federalism information drive. Of the amount, P10 million will be given to Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) for the production of materials.
An additional P50 million in savings of the consultative committee that drafted the proposed federal Charter might also be tapped for the information campaign, according to Roque.
“They are finding a way to be able to use the remaining funds of the consultative commission for dissemination purposes. So, the initial amount that has been identified for dissemination is P90 million, but P10 million will go to PCOO for production of materials,” he said.
Roque acknowledged there was a need to inform the public about federalism after a recent survey indicated majority of Filipinos was unaware about federalism. “We have accepted the challenge and we will embark on this massive dissemination drive,” he said.
A Pulse Asia survey showed 67 percent of the respondents were opposed to amending the Constitution now, 18 percent agreed while 14 percent did not know or could not say.
In the same poll conducted last month, 62 percent said there were not in favor of the proposed shift to federalism, 28 percent agreed, and 10 percent were undecided.