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Philippines' economic planner dashes Duterte's quick federalism hopes

15 years of preparation will be needed to avoid economic disruption

MANILA -- The Philippines' shift to a federal form of government will require 15 years of preparation, the country's socioeconomic planning department said on Friday, in a blow to President Rodrigo Duterte's hopes of changing the charter before his term ends in 2022.

In a statement, the department pitched a rather long planning period to avoid disrupting the momentum of the economy, which grew by over 6% in the last five years, one of the fastest in the region. By comparison, the "consultative committee" of experts formed by Duterte targets a new government by 2022 if congress passes a bill by end of this year and Filipinos approve the shift in a 2019 plebiscite.

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