Con-com to vote on form of federalism to propose on Feb. 27

MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte's Consultative Committee (Con-com), which was tasked to review the 1987 Constitution, will deliberate and vote on what form of federal government to propose as among the constitutional revisions at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on Feb. 27.

In a press statement, Con-com chair and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said deliberations will focus on three possible forms of federal government namely presidential, parliamentary or a hybrid or mixed system.

He said the features of each system, their advantages, and disadvantages will be discussed within the Philippine context.

Last week, the Con-com agreed to tackle the form of federal government first as it affects how the constituent states and other sub-national units of government will be formed and what powers and functions the national or central government will transfer to or share with them.

To date, a sub-committee on the form and structure of the federalism model has conducted meetings in the first week of the Con-com which convened on February 19.

Puno earlier said there will be specific factors to consider in deciding which form will best fit the needs of the country and solve present and emerging problems.

He said one factor is that the federalism model should be strong and sturdy and have sufficient powers to hold the country together.

Puno added that the Con-com should also consider the form that can direct the transition to a federal system where the units of government at the sub-national (or regional level) may vary from constituent states to autonomous regions to special territories of districts.

The former chief justice also wanted to consider threats to territorial integrity, national security, and public order and safety.

He added that the form should also consider Filipino culture, people's needs and expectations of their government, exercise of direct democracy and the existence of political dynasties.

In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque assured that the President will not railroad charter change and has vowed to give lawmakers ample time to ponder on its proposed revisions.

Roque also pointed out that Duterte wanted Congress to wait until the Con-com submits its draft constitution.

Duterte earlier signed Executive Order No. 10 creating a committee tasked to review the 1987 Constitution and create a new constitution which will be presented to Congress.

Source: Philippine News Agency