‘Decentralization doable under 1987 Charter’

Bandera (Mindanao) - - FRONT PAGE -

IF the objective of federalism advocates was “genuine decentralization and devolution,” then there just might be no need to revise the 1987 Constitution.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Senator Panfilo Lacson pointed out that faithful implementation of the existing Local Government Code could well achieve such goal.

Pr e s i d e n t Ro d r i g o Duterte’s Consultative

Committee has recently approved a draft federal Constitution, which paves the way for a shift to a federal form of government. The draft proposal is yet to be transmitted to Congress for deliberations.

“If the objective is genuine decentralization and devolution, why revise the Ph Constitution and divide the nation?” Lacson wrote.

“We only need to implement the Local Government Code and achieve the same purpose,” he added.

Ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno earlier shared the same opinion.

“There is nothing that will prevent this present Congress from giving any economic benefit to the regions or the provinces that they cannot do so now within the present Constitution and using their legislative powers,” Sereno said last week.

She asked: “Congress can already do that, then what is the reason for this charter change?”

Congress is expected to tackle federalism after it opens its third regular session this month. House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez even proposed to postpone the May 2019 midterm elections to prioritize transition to federalism.

Alvarez’s “no election” proposal was met with a barrage of criticisms from fellow lawmakers.—

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