Another CON ASS Resolution

July 27, 2006 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

Despite its criticisms against the opposition for filing essentially the same impeachment complaints several times, the majority bloc was also busy during the recess in pursuit of Charter Change. On June 8, 2006, Rep. Prospero Pichay (1st District, Surigao del Sur) filed H.R. 1285, which calls for the convening of a Constituent Assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Rep. Pichay is the only author of the new resolution. We wonder, however, if Speaker De Venecia was referring to H.R. 1285 when he said that the majority only needs 12 signatures to convene a Constituent Assembly?

Touted by administration legislators as the more progressive version of all Con Ass resolutions, H.R. 1285 is significantly different from the previous resolutions, especially the latest Jaraula version. It discarded the controversial amendments to the National Patrimony provisions of the constitution. Perhaps as an attempt to entice party-list representatives to support the resolution, H.R. 1285 also retained the PL system as provided by the existing law.

The Transitory Provisions are also different:

  • The Interim Parliament, which shall serve as such until June 30, 2010, shall be composed of incumbent Senators (except those who were elected in 2001) and those who will be elected according to the 1987 Constitution in an election scheduled on November 12, 2007. The previous resolutions have included the incumbent President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, and several Presidential appointees as members of the Parliament;
  • Local elections will be held simultaneously with the parliamentary polls;
  • All officials elected during the November 12, 2007 elections will assume their respective offices on January 2, 2008 and will serve until June 30, 2010;
  • Even third-termers will be able to run for the parliamentary elections, as the proposal lifts the constitutionally mandated term limits.

What will happen to President GMA? Under H.R. 1285, she and Vice-President Noli de Castro will retain their powers until 2010. However, like the previous resolutions, the powers of the President and Interim Prime Minister are essentially the same. So how will differences in policies be resolved? With two heads having the same powers, how will the government function?

H.R. 1285 is clearly a compromise resolution. However, the same questions that we have against the previous Charter Change proposal remain. Unless the fundamental issues raised by the political crisis are resolved, moves to amend the constitution will only serve those who benefit from traditional politics.

Read H.R. 1285 below:

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City

THIRTEENTH CONGRESS
Second Regular Session

HR No. 1285


Introduced by Rep. Prospero Pichay, Jr.


RESOLUTION
PROPOSING THE REVISION OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION

WHEREAS, Charter Change would make the provisions of the 1987 Constitution in step and more responsive to the nation’s present-day needs;

WHEREAS, our outmoided form of government is a hotbed of conflict and gridlock among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, impeding the political homeostasis necessary for the nation’s progress;

WHEREAS, the fusion of the executive and unicameral legislature will cultivate accountability in governance due to the dependence of the executive on the confidence of the legislature and will improve the legislative process, resulting to the expeditious passage of laws vital to the proper functioning of the social, economic, and political landscapes;

WHEREAS, with a people more often acting based on regional homogeneity, the Philippines will benefit more with the gradual transition to federal structure of government for it will be more receptive and flexible to economic and social diversity of regions than the existing unitary system;

WHEREAS, Charter Change would provide the opportunity to revise the economic provisions presently enshrined in the Constitution, which encumber the entrance of foreign investments critical to our economic growth;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
, as it is hereby resolved that pursuant to Section 1, Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution, Congress shall propose the following revision to the 1987 Constitution to wit: (Download the proposed amendments).

Adopted,

HON. PROSPERO PICHAY, JR.
Representative, 1st District
Surigao del Sur

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Entry filed under: AKBAYAN in Congress, Charter Change.

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