Congress eyes TWG to draft revisions to Constitution

MANILA-- Both houses of Congress have agreed to form a joint technical working group (TWG) that will draft proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution even without the Constitutional Commission (Con-Com), a body of experts to be formed by MalacaAang that will aid Congress in proposing Charter changes.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo FariAas revealed this to reporters on Wednesday after emerging from a meeting with leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives to discuss their common legislative agenda for the second regular session.

"Ang napag-usapan namin, if we cannot wait for the commission being created by the President, both houses magbubuo na lang kami ng parang Technical Working Group, FariAas said.

According to FariAas, the TWG will be composed of at least six to 12 members from each chamber to draw up a working draft that shall be deliberated upon by Congress when it convenes into a Constituent Assembly.

President Duterte ordered the creation of a 25-member Con-Com body that would review the 1987 Constitution and make recommendations toward a systemic shift to federalism. However, MalacaAang has yet to name the members of the Con-Com.

Earlier, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Congress will convene itself as a Con-Ass next year to introduce amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

In December 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Executive Order 10, creating a consultative committee, composed of 25 different experts from the country, that will review the Constitution.

Duterte has been pushing for a shift from a unitary form of government towards a federal system to allow the better distribution of public services.

Source: Philippines News Agency