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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

2007 Dialogues on Federalism: Understanding Federalism through Dialogue

UP Center for Local and Regional Governance
Institute of Federalism Switzerland

2007 Dialogues on Federalism
“Understanding Federalism through Dialogue”

3 August 2007
University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City
With funding from The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation


Session 1: Morning, 3 August 2007 (panel discussion and open forum)
Will federalism solve the long standing conflicts in the Philippines?
with Dr. Macapado Muslim, Dr. Steven Rood, Dr. Nicole Toepperwien, Dr. Carmen Abubakar

Session 2: Afternoon, 3 August 2007 (panel discussion and open forum)
Does the Philippines possess the conditions to shift to a federal system today?
with Prof. Leonor Briones, Mr. Reynaldo Deang, Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., Prof. Rene Azurin, Dr. Nicole Toepperwien

Moderator: Prof. Cecilia “Cheche” Lazaro

The Dialogues on Federalism are public forums for honest, free, and informative discussion of various issues surrounding federalism—which has been part of the debate on constitutional reform in the Philippines in recent years.

Each Dialogue engage participants in a face-to-face exchange of ideas about core issues on federalism, the constitution and local autonomy. Its aims are to learn from different sectors of Philippine society their perceptions, opinions and/or recommendations on constitutional reform towards federalism.

The Dialogue Series seeks to enhance understanding of the prospects as well as the challenges of federalism as a mode of governance, especially in relation to democracy, diversity, development, and peace in the Philippines. It would help participants to share knowledge and form opinions derived from various viewpoints. It is hoped that the participants might be liberated from well-worn ideological
clichés and propaganda of advocates and critics alike, eventually being inspired to fresh insights.

They are held for a full day in strategic regional centers in the Philippines. Each forum is organized around two major themes related to federalism, devolution and multiculturalism that is most relevant to the region where one Dialogue is being held.


The Dialogues are roughly patterned after the chamber debates or “Public Business Meetings” of the Oxford Union (www.oxford-union.org) or the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Doha Debates (www.thedohadebates.com). There will be guest speakers/expert panelists who represent advocates, opponents/skeptics, and/or neutrals who will try to argue for their answers to the themes that are stated in question form.

To set the discussions in context, a trigger presentation/paper on the theme will be presented by the organizers before the start of each session.

Greater audience participation is encouraged in the form of written questions or direct discussion with the panelists or fellow participants once the panel discussion has concluded.

This modified “Oxford Union” debate seeks to inform more than simply debate. Hence, there will be an expert or experts from the Institute of Federalism Switzerland in the panel who will provide the objective information on the features, dynamics and peculiarities of federalism.

At the end of each session, the audience will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire evaluating their understanding of the themes and federalism in general.


• Panelists. Without prejudice to the inclusion of other panelists, the main discussants in this Dialogue Series will be academicians, civil society representatives and government officials (preferably from the region where the Dialogue session is being held) and Swiss and/or other foreign resource persons.

Panelists are carefully selected from advocates, skeptics/critics, and objective observers to give balance to the discussions. There will always be an expert from the Institute of Federalism in the panel, as well.

• Plenum. Target participants would be from various sectors of Philippine society numbering from 100 to 150 individuals.

Because of limited slots, participation is solely by invitation. No registration fee will be charged.

The Organizers

The Dialogues on Federalism are organized under the three-year cooperation between the CENTER FOR LOCAL AND REGIONAL GOVERNANCE (U.P. Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines) and the INSTITUTE OF FEDERALISM (Fribourg, Switzerland).

CLRG is a component research, training and consultancy center of the University of the Philippines’ National College of Public Administration and Governance in Quezon City, Philippines. It was established in 1965 as the U.P. Local Government Center under Republic Act 4223 of 1965. It runs regular courses for elective local government officials, local civil servants, and other stakeholders. Its research is geared at finding better ways of doing things in local governments as well as documenting innovative practices and exemplary leadership. CLRG engages local governments in one-on-one partnerships through its consultancy programs.

IFF is an internationally renowned center for interdisciplinary expertise under the University of Fribourg in Fribourg Switzerland. It is active in the field of intergovernmental relations between the Swiss Confederation, the cantons and the municipalities, and aim at a more just, efficient and effective federalism in Switzerland. It focuses on questions of cultural diversity as one of the core elements of federalism and thus facilitate the peaceful co-existence of people and communities within multicultural societies. The CLRGIFF cooperation is being implemented by the Institute’s International Research and Consultancy Center.

For more information on the Dialogues on Federalism or the CLRG-IFF Cooperation, contact Mr. Raphael Montes, Jr., Philippine Project Leader at 2F NCPAG Building, University of the Philippines, Diliman 1101 Quezon City Philippines or at telephone number +63 (2) 928.3914 or +63 (2) 925.7422 or
email rmontesjr@uplocalgov.org.

Deadline for confirmation of participation: 25 July 2007

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A Tao 道 Sign

Le poèt de Pangasinan

Santiago B. Villafania, a bilingual Filipino poet who writes in English and in his native language of Pangasinan, is the author of poetry collections Bonsaic Verses (2012), Pinabli and Other Poems (2012), Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles (2007), and Balikas na Caboloan (Voices from Caboloan, 2005) published by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) under its UBOD New Authors Series. He has been published in several countries and translated into several languages. Villafania is one of the 11 Outstanding Pangasinan conferred with the 2010 ASNA Award for the Arts and Culture (literature) during the first Agew na Pangasinan and also the 430th Foundation Day of the province on April 2010. He is a member of Philippine PEN writes a regular weekly column for the Sunday Punch.



A collection of ghazals in Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com

A collection of haiku, senryu, tanka, haiga, and other poems in English and Pangasinan language. Order now at Amazon.com

“Santiago Villafania is a searcher with a seemingly insatiable curiosity and endurance. His quest has brought him to explore world poetry from points East and West. He is no stranger to sophisticated verse forms such the Sapphic strophe nor to the diverse permutations of the Japanese haiku. But he is not a formalist, he has daringly explored Asian and Western cultures in a very personal way and writes his mind with a daring, invigorating, aesthetically pleasing ease. In his poetry Villafania displays not only a breadth, but it feels very much like a breath of fresh air.” – Ute Margaret Saine, poet, critic, translator, past president of PEN Orange County and the former editor of the California Poetry Quarterly

“Villafania’s emergence as a poet is a fine moment to celebrate. Another voice from the regions augurs a richer body of writing that Filipinos can hold up as a mirror of our native culture.” – Bienvenido Lumbera, National Artist for Literature

The Beloved Idiom | A Reading of Villafania’s ‘Pinabli & other poems’ by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo

LCCN.: 2010338612

Order your copy now at CreateSpace or Amazon.com :)

"The publication of Malagilion: Sonnets tan Villanelles by Santiago B. Villafania should be a source of rejoicing for readers of regional literatures. This second book by Pangasinan's leading poet today is impressive in both form and substance. Villafania has created 300 sonnets and 50 villanelles in his own language that attempt to reflect the primacy of native culture and return the poet to the central stage of social life."A Boost to Pangasinan Literature from Breaking Signs by Cirilo F. Bautista (Philippine Panorama, 16 Dec. 2007, pp.25-26)

"Villafania is not only a visionary poet, he is a linguistic philosopher who codifies the origin of language and culture, dissects the myths and the common beliefs of the people against the urban legends, juxtaposes the literary tradition against the modern influences by dialectically infusing them in his poetic revelation of truth."Poetic Revelation in Language and Culture by Danny C. Sillada (Manila Bulletin, 12 May 2008, pp. F1-F2)

Photos: Book Launching at the Pearl Manila Hotel, 5 Feb. 2008

"Santiago Villafania's Balikas ed Caboloan certainly has reinvigorated the anlong tradition of Pangasinan that for a long period of time suffered silence from the hands of writers more attuned to English writing. Characteristically anacbanua, Villafania's poetry echoes his predecessors and presages a promising era for young writers in Pangasinan." – Dr. Marot Nelmida-Flores

Thesis: Bilay ed Caboloan - Reconfiguration of Space using a New Historicist Lens by Ayesah Tecson

from Pangasinan 'Anlong': Oral tradition into the 21st century published in Manila Times / Sunday Magazine, March 13 & 20, 2011.

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