MANILA — Amending the 1987 Constitution will benefit Filipinos economically, a lawmaker said Monday, amid fresh efforts to revise the charter in the House of Representatives.
According to Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr., changing the country's 36-year-old basic law into a federal form of government would eliminate political dynasties.
"Hindi maaaring yayaman agad ang Pilipino but we're trying to balance the Constitution," he told ANC's "Headstart".
"When you change the Constitution into a federal state for example, in a way, later on, mawawala 'yung poilitical dynasties. Do you know why? Because magkakaroon ng balance 'yung mahirap sa mayaman," he added
Abante believed the Constitution is not "balanced" and "responsive to the realities of 21st century".
"Since the 1987 Constitution was ratified, where is social justice? Even until now, the poor is still the poor," he said.
Amid rising food prices, the lawmaker said it is the right time to "improve" the Constitution.
"I think this is the right time. Let the people make a decision, not us, not the politicians but the people themselves," he said.
Past efforts to amend the 1987 charter were unsuccessful but that did not discourage the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments from starting deliberations on 5 proposals to call an elected constitutional convention.
A member of the 2005 Consultative Commission has proposed to remove term limits for lawmakers and local officials, set two 6-year terms for President and Vice President, and elect 48 senators by region.
Constitutional experts invited to the deliberation, however, were divided on whether the charter should be revised, either in part or in full, as well as the manner of changing the charter.