PHILIPPINE Constitution Association (Philconsa) President Martin Romualdez yesterday said President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez are leaders who will free the nation from sufferings, especially from selective justice, worsening traffic gridlock, corruption, poverty, drug menace through their Charter change (Cha-cha) reforms.
This was stressed by Romualdez as Philconsa members, the oldest and respectable association of legal luminaries in the country, celebrate the organization’s 55th anniversary tonight at the Diamond Hotel Grand Ballroom in Roxas Boulevard where Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno will be the guest of honor, in support of the Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) that the government has been espousing.
“Our Speaker is tasked with the responsibility to assist the President to save the nation and people from the pernicious sufferings caused by the last administration and to lead, restore and enhance the damaged/ruined government and attune and institutionalize efficient, responsive and good governance, eliminating all forms of graft and corruption and free the nation and its people from illegal/prohibited drugs that proliferated and increased in the immediate past.”
Romualdez, the former House Independent Bloc Leader and ex-Leyte three-term congressman who is supporting President Duterte’s advocacy of the shift from the presidential-unitary form of government to a parliamentary-federal system for fair distribution of the benefits of economic growth.
“The Constitution is again in the limelight because of the aspiration of the new administration to have a federal form of government that is responsive to the needs of the people and meets the exigencies of the nation,” said Romualdez, president of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD).
In a related development, Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte welcomed Philconsa’s steadfast position advocating federalism as he urged the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to include this in the topics to be discussed during the national assembly of barangay officials scheduled on October 9 to unofficially kick off the information drive on the proposed shift to this system of government.
The theme of this year’s barangay general assembly, which focuses on “real change,” makes the subject of federalism via Charter Change (Cha-Cha) highly appropriate for discussion among barangay officials.
“The proposed shift to a federal system of government through Cha-Cha is the game changer that would bring about the real change that would uplift Filipinos by making economic growth beneficial to all and not just a few. Thus, federalism fits the theme of ‘tunay na pagbabago’ or real change of this year’s barangay assembly,” Villafuerte said.
Villafuerte likewise pointed out that “barangay officials are the government’s frontliners in delivering not just basic services but also essential information on national and local concerns to our communities, which is why their knowledge about federalism would serve them well in helping educate about it ahead of the upcoming deliberations in the Congress on this proposed shift in government.”
This year’s national barangay assembly on Oct. 9 will discuss various concerns, including the campaign against illegal drugs, peace and order, disaster preparedness and solid waste management, according to the DILG.
Under Con-Ass, a proposed amendment needs at least three-fourths of the total number of each Chamber to adopt the proposal that would be approved by the people in a plebiscite.
Article XVII, Sec. 1 of the Constitution provides that “any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed by the Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members.”
If the voting will be done jointly, Congress will need 238 votes of all members (294 congressmen and 24 senators).
If they will vote separately, the House will need 220 votes while the Senate will have to secure the support of 18 members.