House eyes 5 autonomous states under federalism

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2018 12:07 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2018 12:42 PM


MANILA - The House committee on constitutional amendments tackled on Tuesday the proposed amendments in 1987 Constitution in a bid to shift into a federal form of government.

Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, chair of the committee, said the proposal was from a sub-committee which focused on the salient features of the proposed new charter.

These salient features include articles VI, VII, and X of the present constitution, which covers the legislative department, the executive department, and the local government.

The proposal wants a Federal Republic divided into 5 states: Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas, Bangsamoro, and Mindanao. Each state will have a unicameral state assembly with legislative powers, and a premiere with executive powers.

It proposed to have a parliament with a 300-member Federal Assembly as national legislative department and a Senate as the regional legislative body. The members will be elected by the people.

Party-list groups representing the marginalized sector are still present in the legislative branch in the House proposal, which says they shall compose 20 percent of the total members of the Federal Assembly.

The proposal, meanwhile, also allocates a minimum of 3 seats per state to the Senate.

Meanwhile, these proposed amendments also aim to a new form of government with a Prime Minister as its head, exercising executive power. He will be elected by a majority vote in the parliament.

The President, meanwhile, remains the head of state, reaining his role as Armed Forces commander-in-chief, with oversight powers on all government branches. He will be elected by the people.

The House panel has yet to tackle the proposal from a sub-committee that focused on amendments on the Bill of Rights, citizenship, suffrage, judicial department, and on the amendments and revisions.