THE House committee on constitutional amendments on Wednesday, February 19, postponed voting on a measure seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution to allow further deliberations on the proposal.

Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez, who chairs the House committee, said that the panel needs to hold further deliberations on the proposal of the Department of the Interior and Local government Inter-Agency Task Force on Federalism (IATF).

The IATF proposed to revise Sections 6 and 14 of Article 10 of the 1987 Constitution to give local government units (LGUs) an equal share in national taxes and to empower the regional development councils.

The proposed amendment for Section 6 will allow LGUs to have a just share of taxes based on its population, land area, organizational capacities, and resources.

Local government units will be mandated to give at least 5.0 percent of their share in national taxes to the regional development councils.

The task force also proposed to amend Section 14 to strengthen regional development councils through mandating the President to transfer authority from central to local government.

For the measure to pass Congress, the resolution of both houses must be approved by 75 percent of the Senate and by at least 227 members of the House of Representatives.

Several lawmakers said they need more time to study the proposals.

“If we rush it, there will be the same problem. There will be questions from members, there will be questions from the media, so we will keep this really full discussion of every proposal of the IATF," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez added that the House panel will do its best to schedule another hearing next week.

“This one will be open now. We consider that as a better procedure so we cannot see yet when it will be voted on because of the strong discussions, everybody wanted to participate and we would like to have that full discussion,” he said.

In December 2019, the panel discreetly approved a measure which seeks to amend the 1987 Constitution. (SunStar Philippines)