Task force to brief House panel on proposed Cha-cha

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Federalism and Constitutional Reform is set to conduct a briefing on Tuesday before the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments regarding its proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, panel chairman, said the task force's briefing would be led by Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo AAo.

We want to hear their proposals in detail so we can decide which of those we can include in our committee report for submission to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and the plenary, Rodriguez said, noting that another hearing would be conducted after the briefing to decide on the committee report.

Among the task force's constitutional amendment proposals include anti-dynasty and anti-turncoatism provisions; election of senators by region; five-year term for members of the House of Representatives and local officials; creation of regional authorities; lifting of limitations on foreign investments; allocation of a larger share of national revenues for local government units; and state subsidy for political parties.

Rodriguez said most of the task force's proposed amendments cohere with the proposals contained in the committee's initial report, which include the election provisions, the term length of elected officials, and the lifting of foreign equity restrictions.

In the case of the regional election of the Senate, the task force is proposing the creation of 17 regions with two senators each for a total of 34, while in our report, we recommended nine regions with three senators each for a total of 27, Rodriguez said.

But at least, there is consensus on the election of senators by region. In the present Senate, there is no representation from Muslim Mindanao, he added.

Earlier, the committee re-opened its public hearings to discuss the proposed Charter amendments presented by the inter-agency body along with the panel's previously-approved resolution.

The House panel has approved in a closed-door meeting a resolution of both houses on Charter change (Cha-cha) in December last year, which proposes to extend the terms of elected officials, increase the composition of the Senate, and require the President and the Vice President to be elected as a team, among others.

So we go back to the drawing board. We are going back to hear their proposals. So we are therefore not going to proceed yet with the plenary discussions on the proposed amendments, Rodriguez said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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