Palace confident new charter will be passed
MALACAÑANG has remained
the 1987 Constitution for a shift to a presidential-bicameralfederal system would be passed within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement over the weekend after senators from
- ity said they could not see any future for the draft federal Constitution in the 17th Congress, which sits only until next July.
But Panelo, in an interview, insisted there was still much time left for the Senate to tackle Charter change and federalism before Duterte steps down in 2022.
“Well, kung walanangpag-asa ngayong December, ehnandiyan session, ehdimayroonparin (Well, if there’s no hope for it to be tackled this December, there’s the next session, so there’s still time),” Panelo said.
He added that the Palace was still confident that the Senate was support federalism after the proposed 2019 national budget is passed. Mahabapanaman term (Duterte
Duterte is currently into the middle of his six- year term, which began on the afternoon of June 30, 2016.
Despite the House of Representatives rushing the proposed federal Charter, Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd reiterated on Wednesday that the Senate had no time for passage of the proposed shift.
“We have no time to take that up. They should have rushed the budget, so that we could have taken that up,” Sotto said.
On December 4, the House of Representatives approved on second reading a draft bill authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo revising the 1987 Constitution’s current form of government into a presidentialbicameral-federal system.
Under Arroyo’s draft Charter, the President elected in 2022 will have a term of four years and will be entitled to reelection only once
Opposition members of the House decried the rush to pass the measure through a resolution that was approved through voice voting.
But Arroyo defended the resolution on Wednesday, insisting that the proposal, which she authored along with several of her colleagues, had undergone deliberation of the 292-member chamber.
“It’s part of the democratic process. There was a debate, it was voted on and we sent it to [ House members],” she told reporters.
Shifting to federalism from a unitary system is among the key campaign promises of Duterte, who vowed during the campaign to spread resources and political power to the countryside.