House Con-ass okay for Charter change likely by January–lawmaker

December 7, 2017 at 12:10

House Con-ass okay for Charter change likely by January–lawmaker

The chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments on Monday said lawmakers are set to approve a resolution calling Congress to constitute itself as a constituent assembly (Con-ass) to discuss proposed revisions to the 1987 Constitution by January 2018.

Committee chairman and Rep. Roger Mercado of Southern Leyte said his panel has completed a report of House Concurrent Resolution 9 that consolidated several measures providing con-ass as a mode for charter change.

“I am confident House Concurrent Resolution [HCR] 9 can be expedited and be ready by or before January 2018. The House is therefore able to back up Speaker Pantaleon D.  Alvarez when he meets [with] Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III,” Mercado said.

Earlier, Alvarez said Congress may convene into a Con-ass early next year to craft a new Constitution that would enable the country to shift to a federal form of government.

Moreover, Mercado also said his committee will submit the final draft of the Philippine federal constitution this December to the House Committee on Rules, chaired by Majority Leader Rodolfo S. Fariñas Sr.

“The draft charter builds upon the proposal of the PDP-Laban Federalism Institute. It is consistent with the ideas of President Rodrigo Duterte on what the new charter ought to have and contains solutions to the country’s economic problems, especially poverty, the peace and order situation, and the fight against illegal drugs,” Mercado said.

“We have support from our colleagues in the House to get their approval on HCR  9 in the near-term and on the proposed amendments when Congress is convened as a constituent assembly,” he added.  There are already two filed measures both seeking to change the 1987 Constitution.

The Resolution of Both Houses 8 filed by Deputy Minority Leader Party-list Rep. Eugene Michael B. de Vera of Arts and Business Science Professionals and Rep. Aurelio D. Gonzales Jr. of the Third District of Pampanga, and the proposed Constitution of the Federal Republic of the Philippines of PDP-Laban Federalism Institute.

The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments has already created four  technical working groups, composed of its members, which will draft the new Philippine federal constitution.

The TWG is expected to consolidate the Resolution of Both Houses 8 and the proposed changes of the PDP-Laban Federalism Institute submitted by Executive Director Jonathan E. Malaya and Local Government Development Foundation Executive Director Edmund S. Tayao.

Each of the four groups will handle specific areas to be covered in the drafting of the new Federal Constitution.


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