Congress is set to approve on third and final reading a proposal amending the 1987 Constitution that would lift the term limits of lawmakers and local officials.
House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 15, or the draft federal charter, a priority measure of the Duterte administration, would be passed before the House of Representatives goes on Christmas Break on Saturday.
“Because it was passed on second reading, [then] three days after the copy is circulated, we should be taking it up on third reading, hopefully that would be Monday,” she said.
She earlier denied that she rushed the bill through its passage on second reading.
“It was part of the democratic process. There was a debate. It was voted on,” she said.
RBH No. 15 aims for a presidential-bicameral-federal system of government and would empower Congress to establish federal states by convening Congress into a constituent assembly.
When asked about the absence of a provision against political dynasties, Arroyo said she had nothing to do with it.
“You ask the chairman [of the House committee on constitutional amendments, Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso]. I did not participate in the debate because as I said, my only contribution there is the mechanism for setting up the federal states. The others are contributions of the other congressmen. They should answer for themselves,” she said.
Under the House version of the charter, the president and vice president will be elected with each other to serve a four-year term and be subject to one reelection. The first election will be held on the second Monday of May 2022.
READ: Priority measures keep House busy