LAWMAKERS on Wednesday filed a bill proposing that Congress remains to hold office in case of no elections or failure of elections.
House Bill 7108, authored by Representatives Jeci Lapus (Tarlac), Carlos Padilla (Nueva Vizcaya), and Edno Joson (Nueva Ecija) passed the bill in light of the upcoming automated elections.
Instead of the earlier proposed succession bill, the “Hold-over Act of 2010” will allow present members of the House and Senate to hold their term of office until new officials are elected and proclaimed.
“Up to the present, there is not law that provides for the manner in which one who is to act as President shall be selected in case the aforewarned scenario of a failure of elections comes to pass this May 2010,” according to the explanatory note on the bill.
Powers and duties of the hold-over members of Congress include exercising the powers of legislature indicated in the 1987 Constitution and choose from themselves Acting President, Senate President and Speaker.
The bill also allows the Congress to call special election if elections are not conducted not earlier than 45 days but not later than 60 days from the start of the hold-over period.
According to the proposed bill, the extended term of office shall not exceed six months from the expiration.
The Philippines will be experiencing a situation out of the usual come May elections because aside from the President and Vice President, next in line Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile will also be stepping down.
Members of the House meanwhile will also have to be elected by May while the sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice is set to retire on May 17.
“Our nation will virtually be politically headless," the bill said.
The earlier succession bill proposed that Senators who still has three years remaining from their term will act as temporary government. (Angela Casauay/Sunnex)