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Support Charter change — Barbers

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 297

A HOUSE leader has appealed to the public and even critics of the government to support the effort to amend the Constitution instead of attacking the proponents.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, said the 1987 Constitution needs reform and overhaul because it no longer fits the present condition of the Filipinos.

“We know very well that the 1987 Constitution is flawed; every flawed system should be reformed dahil maaaring isa ito sa mga kadahilanan kung bakit patuloy na naghihirap ang ating bansa. Ayaw nila ng Cha-cha ngayon dahil hindi partido nila ang mga naka-upo. Matagal nang dapat nabago ang Saligang Batas, ngunit maraming tutol sapagkat sarili lang nila ang kanilang iniisip,” Barbers said.

According to Barbers, it is possible that the majority of Filipinos oppose Charter change simply because they do not understand how Charter change could bring positive outcomes.

“Halimbawa, kung gusto natin ng pagbabago at pag-unlad kailangan nating ilagay sa bagong Charter ang patungkol sa mga bagay katulad ng decentralization of power, from Imperial Manila to the local government units. Kung ayaw natin ng political dynasty, kailangan na natin i-spellout sa bagong Saligang Batas. Kung gusto nating umunlad ang bansa, ay kailangan nating buksan ang ating ekonomiya sa mga banyagang mamumuhunan,” Barbers stressed.

“Kailangan din nating magdagdag ng qualifications para sa ating mga halal na pinuno, gaya ng edukasyon at karanasan sa pamumuno. At isa pa, kailangan nating amyendahan ang Procurement Law, upang mabawasan ang corruption, kung saan nakapako tayo palagi sa lowest bidder na hindi naman nangangahulugang pinakamaganda para sa interes ng bayan. At panghuli, kailangan nating baguhin at pagtibayin ang ating political party system upang maiwasan ang paglaganap ng mga balimbing o political butterflies, tulad ng aking nabanggit sa House Bill 7431,” Barbers added.

The solon pointed out that what the people need now is better understanding of Charter change for them to support it.

Earlier, Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia said that the House leadership is set to launch a massive information campaign on Cha-cha.

Barbers agreed with the plans saying the people need more information on what provisions will be amended.

“Kung mayroong sapat na kaalaman ukol sa Charter change, mas magiging pabor ang karamihan ng ating mga kababayan dito, lalo na pagnalaman nila ang mga magagandang maidudulot nito para sa ating ekonomiya. Kaya naman kaysa batikusin natin ang Presidente, bakit hindi tayo tumulong magpalaganap ng impormasyon tungkol sa pederalismo? Sa totoo lang, sila mismong mga kritiko ang may kailangan mangalap ng impormasyon ukol dito,” Barbers stated.

The lawmaker also said that Filipinos are better off today than they were three years ago, with legislations like the Universal Health Coverage Bill and the Free Higher Education Act and the modernization of different government agencies, such as the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Barbers said that the Philippines is a few steps closer to achieving true progress.