Bridging the poverty gap through a policy workshop on Federalism

Article by Maria Paula Tolentino
with context and photos by Stephen Araneta

8 October 2019, Asian Institute of Management – A Policy Workshop and Focused Group Discussion (FGD) on Federalism was recently conducted by the country’s premiere international management school and research institution, the Asian Institute of Management, and attended by the OLLI Consulting Group’s Principal, Atty. Leo Dominguez, Government-Industry Alignment Consultant, Stephen Araneta and representatives from both the private and public sector, specifically local government units (LGUs).

In order to stick to the FGD’s objectives, AIM opted for a certain process and flow to guide the participants. Both the business group and the local government units had to answer two key questions: a) Will the present Constitution and Presidential form of government facilitate or hinder the attainment of the goal  in the workshop? And secondly, b) Will Federalism be a better form of government compared to that of a presidential type to help facilitate the attainment of the goal identified in the workshop? 

Methodical in approach, AIM made it clear to its participants that they needed to 1) Identify a problem or issue; 2) Process the problem and convert it to an objective and 3) Assess if the Presidential form or the Federal form of government will attain the objective. 

From the business group’s perspective, the objective was to reduce poverty from 21% to 14%. In this group, it was noted that tweaking both the Presidential form of government as well as a Federalism form of government can both address the objectives. Speaking from the business perspective, Dominguez explained that a tweaked Presidential form of government can address the immediate issues of poverty while federalism is at an advantage to reduce poverty for the long term. He added, however, that this will all “depend on the provisions placed in the constitution on either form of government”.

On the one hand, the LGU representatives mentioned that their objective was to increase the  revenue share on national taxes. They concluded that their objective can be attained through a Presidential form of government. Different views, methods and approaches in helping address poverty, made for a richer and substantial discussion that afternoon. 

Representing the business group were OLLI Consulting Group CEO and Philippines – Sweden Business Council Chairman, Atty. Leo Dominguez together with Coffee for Peace CEO, Joji Pantoja. While government was represented by Sandra Paredes, Executive Director of the League of Provinces.

Federalism in AIM_8 Oct 2019
Meeting of Minds. Through a focused group discussion, the Asian Institute of Management pools together the private and public sector to discuss policies concerning Federalism and how it can address poverty.


Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House. A certified Safety Officer, she is an advocate of inclusive business, responsible mining, quarrying and mineral extractive practices with clear focus on the quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit and purpose). She is also the Vice President for Programs under women-mining NGO, Diwata – Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.

For questions, she can be reached at:

LinkedInMiss Tolentino ; ;
WebsiteSEM Scribe Publishing House

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