Federalism on Focus

 Congress likely to convene into conass next year –Alvarez

NEWS Release – 30 August 2017 Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez today said Congress will likely convene into a constituent assembly early next year to craft a new constitution that would  enable our country to shift to a federal form of government.  In a press briefing, Alvarez told the media that among the top legislative priorities discussed during the

Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council  (LEDAC) called by President Duterte in Malacañang on Wednesday is the proposed shift to a federal form of government.  “Naaalala ko lang na isa yung federalism—na kailangan maumpisahan na talaga natin,” Alvarez said.  One of the main campaign promises of Pres. Duterte is the shift to a federal form of government.

According to Alvarez, leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate agreed to meet to lay down their timetable and determine the best time for Congress to convene into a constituent assembly for the purpose of drafting a new federal constitution.  Alvarez said this could likely happen by early next year.  “Baka early next year.   Pero mag-uumpisa na yung committee hearings (sa House),” Alvarez said.

Last week the House committee on constitutional amendments created four  technical working groups (TWGs), composed of its members, which will draft the Philippine Federal Constitution.The PDP Federalism Institute also  turned over to the committee the draft “Constitution of the Federal Republic of the Philippines,” for consideration by the various TWGs created by the House panel.  The lawmakers agreed to submit the final draft of the Philippine Federal Constitution to the House committee on rules by December this year.

Meanwhile,  Alvarez said that on the part of the House it reported to the LEDAC that the chamber has acted on all the priority bills identified by the Executive and Legislative Departments.  Among these measures is the postponement of the barangay and Sangguniang  Kabataan elections originally scheduled for October this year. Alvarez said Pres. Duterte has asked Congress to act on the poll postponement.

Public Consultation on Federalism

February 28 Photo Release Members of the House committee on constitutional amendments chaired by Rep. Roger “Oging” Mercado (Lone District, Southern Leyte), after holding six extensive Charter change hearings in Congress, started its consultative meetings in various  parts of the country to get the public pulse at the grassroots level on the proposed shift to a federal form of government via Cha-cha.

The first public consultation was held last week in Dagupan City dubbed “Public Consultation on Constitutional Reforms.” In his opening remarks, Mercado said they wanted to know during the forum the people’s sentiments, opinions, and concerns especially about federalism. Mercado earlier said the Cha-cha bill is expected to be tackled in the House plenary by May during the resumption of session. With Mercado were Reps. Edward Vera Perez Maceda (4th District, Manila), Christopher “Toff” Vera Perez De Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), Vicente “Ching” S.E Veloso (3rd District, Leyte), a committee vice chairman, Virgilio S. Lacson (Party-list, Manila Teachers) and Rose Marie “Baby”J. Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan), Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) board member Atty. Gonzalo Duque.The forum was attended by local government officials mostly mayors, vice mayors, councilors, and barangay captains; members of the  academe, research institutions, legal groups, non-government organizations (NGOs) and business groups; and students from Dagupan City and Pangasinan. The committee will also hold consultative meetings in Davao City, Bacolod City and Tacloban City. ###


the noblest motive is the greatest good for the greatest number