MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte appears to favor a shift to a federal parliamentary form of government, with a strong presidency directly elected by the public.
Incoming House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a staunch ally of the President, revealed Duterte's preference.
"Kung basehan ko ‘yung sinasabi ni President Duterte nu’ng panahon ng kampanya, gusto niya mangyari federal form of government, with president elected by people. Parang French model. Unicameral body legislative branch," said Alvarez.
Such a model would mean there will be only one chamber of the legislature. It remains to be seen if there can be a vice-president.
Alvarez said support from lawmakers for the bid to amend the charter has been encouraging.
Measures to amend the charter have been filed by politicians from different political parties.
Alvarez himself has filed a proposal to call for a constitutional convention. Charter change proposals were also filed by Senator Franklin Drilon and Representatives Gloria Arroyo, Sonny Belmonte, Albee Benitez and Gwen Garcia.
Alvares reiterated plans to have the revised charter subjected to ratification to coincide with the 2019 midterm elections so that the last half of the Duterte administration can be dedicated to the transition.