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Solons begin Cha-Cha talks

THE House committee on constitutional amendments begins today its deliberations on several proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution, or the proposed shift from presidential to a federal system as espoused by President Rodrigo Duterte, a House official said Tuesday.

Rep. Roger Mercado, the head of the panel, said his committee will begin considering all pending Charter-Change measures calling for a Constituent Assembly and Constitutional Convention at one p.m. His panel will invite legal luminaries to guide lawmakers in drafting a new Constitution.

President Rodrigo Duterte
“We will begin our initial hearing this Wednesday, the start of our full-blast consideration of all pending Charter-Change proposals including Constituent Assembly or Constitutional Convention,” Mercado said.

The committee will continue its hearings on November 15, 16, 22 and 23 after Congress’ Halloween break, Mercado said. 

Congress will adjourn on Oct. 19 and resume sessions on Nov. 7.

Mercado said the country’s legal luminaries will be invited in the hearings “whether they oppose or support Charter Change.”

Rep. LRay Villafuerte urged President Rodrigo Duterte to capitalize on his record satisfaction ratings to continue pushing structural reforms via the shift to a federal system of government, which he said was the only “antidote” to the over-concentration of political power in “Imperial Manila” at the expense of the other regions.

“Federalism will shift to high gear his ambitious yet doable agenda of freeing 10-million Filipinos from poverty and transforming our country into an upper-middle-income economy six years from now and into a high-income one by 2040,” he said.

An SWS survey conducted among 1,200 respondents from Sept. 24 to 27 across the country yielded a high net satisfaction rating of +64 percent for Duterte, with only 11 percent dissatisfied with his performance and 13 percent undecided.

It was the highest rating among all post-1986 Presidents with the exception of Fidel V. Ramos, who scored higher in 1992. 

Topics: House committee on constitutional amendments , President Rodrigo Duterte , Federal system , Rep. Roger Mercado , Charter-Change
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