If he wins next year’s elections, presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao on Thursday said he will push to shift the country’s form of government from unitary to a “hybrid federalism,” saying it will help the country to prosper further.
“What I want is federalism. I want to implement federalism in our country but a hybrid form of it,” Pacquiao said in Filipino during an online forum hosted by the Rotary Club of Manila.
“Because it is not yet possible that our country will fully adopt the full implementation of federalism, so we need a hybrid first to fix everything and I’m sure our country will develop from there,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Promdi presidential candidate has no qualms about his decision to run for President in the upcoming May elections, as he dismissed sliding down for a possible tandem with Vice President Leni Robredo.
“I am firm in my decision. I will continue and will not backtrack on this fight for the presidency,” stressed Pacquiao at the same forum.
President Rodrigo Duterte had been pushing for a shift to a federal form of government to address national economic and power imbalances.
Under the proposal, the country will be divided into states that will be formed from the existing regions.
Pacquiao also said that Filipinos are suffering because of the “lack of a concrete plan” against COVID-19 and proposed “long-term solutions” to help the country emerge from the pandemic.
The boxing legend’s plan focuses on free education, the allocation of jobs, and support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“Free education is one of the things we will focus on until they graduate from school, and work—it is important that we give that to our compatriots. We will also support and strengthen MSMEs and the business sectors to provide employment for millions of Filipinos,” he said.
Sufficient funds and support will be allocated to the country’s athletes and training facilities to produce more sports champions, he added.
Pacquiao also agreed to put an end to the practice of contractualization in the country, saying that he will support the laborers.
“I can bring genuine reforms,” said Pacquiao.
Informed of the possible strong Robredo-Pacquiao combination, the senator divulged that before he opted to seek the presidency, he asked the guidance of God.
“Whatever the decision of the people, it won’t matter to my plan. Only God can change my decision. I will follow the instruction of God. Who am I not to heed God?” said Pacquiao, who noted that “God transformed him from nothing to something.”
In wooing voters, Pacquaio said he wants to help them and develop the country not for his own interest.
The world boxing champ insisted he is different from others who want to become president to achieve their goals.
“Material things are not important to Manny Pacquiao, but what he’s doing in his life on earth,” he said.
Relating his rag-to-riches story at the start of the event, the senator said he wants to inspire the Philippines and the world.
“I already did it in the field of boxing,” said the senator who said he fully knows that public service amounts to help and change for our country.
If he only wished for fame, he said he could have just remained a senator. But Pacquiao said he wants to do more for the country.
When he becomes the President, he would personally impose discipline on Filipinos even without hurling invectives or cursing to show his courage.
“I want to see thieves and the corrupt in the government — all those who stole from the nation’s coffers all together in jail,” said Pacquiao.
He assured the Filipinos of “a new dawn for our country” with real reforms and hope under his leadership.
Pacquiao committed to craft a concrete master plan for the country that “would not be covered by an executive order but legislated.”
All legislative and judicial agenda, Pacquiao said, should be in line with the master plan.