MANILA Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez wants the House of Representatives to prioritize Charter change during the third regular session.
In his speech at the start of the 17th Congress' third regular session on Monday, Alvarez described the 1987 Constitution as "one of the most extractive institutions that has robbed the rest of the Philippines" of its chance to "fully realize" its potential for growth and development.
Alvarez said it is "untenable" to claim that there is no need for Charter change because the country's problems should be blamed at "bad people running the government."
He said the development of nations boils down to institutions, noting that the 1987 Constitution is the "mother of all institutions" in the Philippines.
"They posit that people are the center of the problem and charters are inconsequential. Hence, no need to change the Constitution. This position is untenable," Alvarez said.
"Yes, bad people are also responsible for the mess that we are presently in. But to miss the bigger picture and fail to understand the role that institutions play in the puzzle of prosperity and development for our nation will seal our fate and preserve mediocrity as status quo," he added.
Alvarez said the House would consider three most prominent drafts proposing Charter changes, which include: the draft of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments; the draft by PDP Federalism Institute; and the draft from the Consultative Committee led by retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno.
Alvarez said he will specifically push for a self-executory and anti-political dynasty provision and remove the imposition of term limits.
He said political dynasties proliferated because of "unintended effects" of imposing term-limits.
"Let's push for the self-executory anti-political dynasty provision para rin wala nang pipilitin sa pamilya tumakbo kahit ayaw naman talaga(so that no one will be forced in the family to run for an elective position) but I propose that term limits be removed," he said.
Alvarez has been pushing for the postponement of the 2019 elections as the "most practical" way of achieving the push for Charter change.
With the elections postponed, Alvarez said Congress can focus on its work of finalizing the draft of the proposed federal charter. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency