NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. believes the Charter Change (Chacha) bill co-authored by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her son Representative Datu Arroyo is untimely.

Vice Governor Genaro "Lim-ao" Alvarez, meanwhile, believes that Chacha will pass in the Congress. He added that many of the reelected lawmakers, whom he used to work with while in the House as sixth district Representative, have supported Chacha through the Constitutional Convention (ConCon).

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Alvarez added that since Arroyo has led the country for nine years, she has kept a clout in Congress.

"If I am still a congressman, I will vote for Chacha," Alvarez said.

Meanwhile, according to reports several Lakas-Kampi-CMD members in the House, who were former allies of Arroyo, are already jumping ship to the Liberal Party (LP). Some believed that because of this scenario, Arroyo opted not to vie for the speakership and endorsed Representative Edcel Lagman instead to contest the position against Quezon City Congressman Feliciano Belmonte.

But Marañon said we have other more important problems to attend to at this time. "We have this problem on poverty, hunger, unemployment, insurgency, huge budget deficit by the national government."

He also agrees that there are some provisions in the constitution that need amendments, like the provision on term limits of public office. He said three years is too short for local officials while four or five years would be enough.

The governor also like to follow the two-party system in the United States because in a multi-party system like ours, changing political party is like changing clothes.

Marañon also stressed that he is not amenable to changing the form of government to from presidential to parliamentary but he would like to have the senators be elected by senatorial districts. (Teresa Ellera-Dulla)