ConCom adds ex-officio members in transition to federalism

MANILA The Transition Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House, and all living Presidents will be ex-officio members of the Transition Commission which will lead the possible shift to a federal system of government, the Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to draft a Federal Constitution said Wednesday.

ConCom chairman and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno bared this after meeting with his members for a second time after President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved on Monday their draft Federal Constitution except for its transitory provisions.

Earlier, Puno said that the Transition Commission will be composed of 10 members appointed by the Transition President, who will be elected in tandem with the Transition Vice President.

That will be the first election using the provisions of the proposed new Constitution, Puno told reporters in an interview in Pasay City.

Members of the Transition Commission must possess the following qualifications: natural-born citizen, at least 40 years of age, of proven probity and integrity, and with expertise in the fields of economy, law, fiscal management, governance or development.

The Transitory President and Transitory Vice President will still be assisted by a Commission, the one originally proposed (to be) composed of experts in economics, law, governance, development, and so forth and it is this Commission that shall prepare the transition plan, Puno said.

However, the ConCom decided to include seven ex-offcio members in efforts to make the membership symbolic.

Aside from the regular membership of that Transitory Commission, we also made as ex-officio members the Transitory Vice President, the Senate President, the Speaker of the House, and all the living Presidents, Puno said.

Asked to clarify what he meant by Senate President and Speaker of the House, Puno said that whoever is the Senate President, whoever is the House speaker will be ex-officio members.

Living presidents include Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Benigno Aquino III. Duterte decided to opt out of the Transition Commission.

On Tuesday, the ConCom granted Duterte's request to be barred from running for President under the proposed Federal Constitution and included the call for election of a transition President and Vice President in tandem after the supposed ratification of the proposed Federal charter.

Puno, however, said that the other living presidents may also decide not to be ex-officio members if they so wish.

The Transition Commission is a body that will formulate and adopt a transition plan for the orderly shift to the new system of government, as provided for in the new Constitution, Puno said.

For proper execution of the transition plan, Puno said it shall promulgate the necessary rules and regulations, orders, proclamations, and other issues, do all acts to implement a transition plan, and resolve all issues and disputes that may arise.

The Commission will also organize, reorganize, and fully establish the federal government and the governments of the federated regions in accordance with the Constitution.

Transition period will take place from 2019 to 2022. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency