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Duterte Has Grand Ambitions to Share Manila's Wealth

  • Duterte seeks controversial change to Philippine constitution
  • Capital region accounts for almost half of nation’s economy
Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte

Photographer: Nicolas Datiche/Pool via Bloomberg

Seeking to close the gap on the entrenched wealth inequality in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte is pushing a controversial constitutional change to adopt a U.S.-style federal structure.

The president will ask lawmakers to back his plan to create 18 federal regions with powers to impose taxes and build economic zones. They will get at least half the revenue collected by the national government, which will remain in charge of monetary and currency matters, defense and foreign affairs.