10-year term for president under federal proposal

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 20 2016 04:14 PM

MANILA - The president will enjoy a term of up to 10 years under a proposed federal-parliamentary system presented before congressional leaders early this month.

The proposed semi-presidential federal model will also do away with the position of vice president as is common in a parliamentary system, said Edmund Tayao, executive director of the Local Government Development Foundation. 

The president will still be elected directly for an initial five-year term as Tayao's group hope to avoid any "drastic" transition from the current presidential set-up.

The president, who will share executive powers with a prime minister, can run for reelection. 

"Parang paglipat lang ng bahay yan (It's like moving house)," he told ABS-CBN News. "It's difficult if we're going to do away entirely with the things that we're already familiar with."

A group of experts from the academe under the Political Reform Exponents of the Philippines presented the draft to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez more than two weeks ago.

The proposal can also be considered by the 25-man group President Rodrigo Duterte is forming to study changes in the constitution, Tayao said. 

It seeks to "de-synchronize" elections where members of the National Assembly and local and regional leaders will be elected first.

Political parties with at least 20 percent of the seats in parliament can then nominate a candidate for president in a separate election.

Tayao said the proposal would ensure that an aspirant would "really be a political party candidate."

"You cannot be a political party that is organized overnight or a candidate who simply has the capacity to run a national campaign," he said.