Tuesday, June 25, 2019

ConCom member: Charter change will face rough sailing in Senate

A MEMBER of the Consultative Committee (ConCom), who was assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution, is expecting that the charter change will face rough sailing in the Senate.

Voting 224-22-3, the House of Representatives passed on third and final reading the proposed revision of the 1987 Constitution on Tuesday, December 11.

The Constitutional amendment will give way to the federal form of government.

Arthur Aguilar said that the House version needs 18 affirmative votes from the members of the Senate for it to be passed.

The House version did not adopt the draft submitted by the ConCom to Duterte. It was also presented to the lawmakers.

Salient points of the House version is the exclusion of the anti-dynasty and it has done away with the term limits for congressmen.

Legislators voted 224-22-3 in favor of Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 15 on December 11.

It was authored by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and 35 other legislators.

Unlike the draft constitution drafted by the Consultative Committee, RBH 15 would not impose a specific number of federal states to be established. A federal state may instead be created upon a petition addressed to Congress by contiguous, compact, and adjacent provinces, highly urbanized and component cities, and cities and municipalities in metropolitan areas through a “resolution of their respective bodies.”

The resolution must be approved by majority of the votes casted in a plebiscite to be held in the political units affected. It would be up to Congress, however, to draft the organic law that would create the federal state concerned.

The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region would also be recognized as a federal state.

RBH 15 would also revive the two-party system, with the first two “dominant” parties garnering the most number of votes during the first national elections under federalism becoming the official parties.

The President and Vice President, meanwhile, must come from the same party and shall be elected as a team, with each of them serving a term of 4 years. They will both be eligible for one reelection.

RBH 15 also removed the line in the current Constitution that limits the participation of foreign investors in the governing body of entities based on their proportionate share in the capital.

If passed, RBH 15 would set the first national and local elections for the new President, Vice President, senators, representatives, and local officials on the second Monday of May 2022. Winners would assume office at 12 p.m. on June 30, 2022.

Duterte would not be allowed to run for reelection in 2022.

Candidates for President, Vice President, and Congress members would also be required to have a college degree.

Aguilar said “federated regions should be created through legislation. The federal government and the federated regions should be created at the same time with different powers,” he pointed out.

He also emphasized that the Negrenses should apply to be the first federated region if the House version will be followed.

“We have to closely monitor the moves on this a Constitutional amendments,” Aguilar stressed.


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