PROPONENTS of Charter Change yesterday clarified that the no elections scenario in 2019 could be possible due to the transitory requirements for shifting to the new system of government.
Speaking in a weekly forum, both ABS party-list Rep. Eugene de Vera and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales said that while they want to have elections in 2019, there is also a need to have enough time for the transition period.
De Vera and Gonzales are the main authors of House Resolution No.8 or the working draft for Charter Change, which is now being deliberated on in the House committee on Constitutional Amendments.
According to De Vera, they will propose a transition period of at least one to three years once the shift to a federal form of government is done.
With this transitory provision, 2019 mid-term elections might be moved to 2022.
Depending on the decision of the majority members of Congress, the incumbent official might be given holdover position or President Rodrigo Duterte will yield legislative power until the new Constitution is fully in effect.
“Sa working draft (HR No.8), we did not recommend the ‘no-elections’ scenario but kung gagawin nating federal system, we see there is a need for transition provision. Minimum of one to two years and maximum of three years ang nakikita naming transition period, that is enough I think,” De Vera said.
Earlier, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez mentioned the possibility of no elections in 2019 because of the proposed Charter Change to be discussed in Congress starting this year.
De Vera said during the previous deliberations on the proposed Charter Change bills, there are a lot of congressmen who proposed several inputs that include the transitory provisions.
Just recently, Speaker Alvarez said only senators whose term will end in 2019 may be expected to gain from the transitory provisions of a new charter.
Alvarez said that for practical purposes, the 2019 senatorial elections could be scrapped and the senators whose terms are expiring that year could be allowed to stay in their post in a holdover capacity during the transition period to the federal form of government or up to 2022.
“So pupuwede sabay-sabay na lang sa 2022 (matapos ang term ng mga senador) under the new structure of government,” Alvarez said.
Among the re-electionist are Senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Sonny Angara, Cynthia Villar, JV Ejercito, Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay and Grace Poe.
On the other hand, Alvarez said the 2019 elections for officials of local government units and members of the House of Representatives could still push through since they all had a three-year term, which would expire in 2022.