ConCom to finish draft Federal Constitution this weekend

MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte's Consultative Committee (ConCom) to review the 1987 Constitution is expected to complete its draft Federal Constitution this weekend.

We'll be able to complete the draft by the weekend, ConCom Senior Technical Assistant and spokesperson Ding Generoso said in a briefing in Pasay City on Thursday.

After the TWG (technical working group), lawyers, and Office of the Chairman have reviewed everything line by line, we hope to complete the draft by SaturdaySunday, he added.

Generoso said the ConCom will be working on provisions on federated regions and transitory provisions on Friday despite it being declared as a holiday in observance of Eid'l Fitr or the end of Ramadan.

(The draft Constitution is) 98 percent finished. There are just several sections on federated regions that need to be revised or written, especially with regard to revenue and taxation. Those are sensitive. We have to make sure that the phrasing is correct and intent is reflected, he said.

The ConCom will kick off regional consultations in Dumaguete on Monday and will follow in Baguio City on June 2527.

Meanwhile, the entire draft Constitution will be voted on in one en banc session, tentatively on June 19 instead of its earlier target on June 14.

Over the weekend, we will send the completed draft to members so that they can also review (it). If they have some questions, they can submit earlier so that they can be considered in the meeting on Tuesday, Generoso said.

Once it's finalized by Tuesday, he said, the ConCom will finish the final version. Annotations are expected to be finished by the end of the month.

The committee will also tap English language experts for a final review of the wording of the provisions as constructed.

Generoso also said that the new Federal Constitution is also expected to be a bit longer than the current 1987 Constitution.

We expect the new Constitution to be longer than the 1987 Constitution because we added new articles, he said. But we're also compressing the phrasing of some of the old provisions without losing the intent and spirit. We're also removing redundancies and trying to employ some journalistic standards in writing.

Generoso said the ConCom is still on track in submitting its draft Federal Constitution to the President on July 9 or earlier, before he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 23.

He said the ConCom will submit the draft Federal Constitution to Duterte two to three weeks ahead of the SONA to give him enough time to review it.

The commitment of the ConCom is to submit this to the President before SONA, give him time to review so that he can decide whether he will submit it to the Congress on the day of the SONA, Generoso said.

The ConCom, composed of veteran former government officials, lawyers, and academics, chaired by a former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, was created under Executive Order No. 10. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency