MANILA— Candidates for senator under the proposed federal system will need at least a college degree or its equivalent, the committee drafting a new constitution agreed Thursday.
Voting 13-5, the consultative committee acceded to a proposal being pushed by former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr.
An equivalent will be determined by the Commission on Higher Education “or some such agency authorized by law,” he told ABS-CBN News.
The academic requirement can also cover other candidates depending on the outcome of subsequent discussions, said lawyer Susan Ubalde-Ordinario, a member of the committee.
Some committee members earlier rejected the proposal, arguing it would deprive other aspirants who could be deserving but had no college degree.
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who chairs the committee, noted that only 10 percent among Filipinos aged 5 or older finished college.
At present, senatorial candidates are required only to be at least 35 years old, able to read and write, a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, and a resident of the country for at least 2 years before election.