MANILA — Sen. Robin Padilla will try to seek the approval of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri for him to be able to finally meet with his House counterpart Rep. Rufus Rodriguez regarding Charter change.
The meeting will attempt to arrive at a final and clear direction on how they would push Charter amendments “within the year,” as earlier proposed by Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte.
“Pwede po tayong mag-request (kay SP Zubiri). Pwede nating gawin yan, wala namang mawawala kung magre-request tayo,” Padilla, chairman of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments, said.
Padilla said he is now only revising his Cha-cha committee report which is expected to favor the Constituent Assembly as a mode to amend the 1987 Constitution.
His target, Padilla said, is to have his final committee report distributed to his Senate colleagues.
“Sayang naman po kung hindi pa natin gagawan ng committee report yung Con-Ass… Nauna nang natapos yun, na-adjourn na yun. Ayoko nang maaksayahan pa ng panahon,” Padilla in a phone interview said.
Over at ANC’s “Headstart” program, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III meanwhile pointed out the inaccuracy of blaming the country’s poor state to the 1987 Constitution.
“The poverty that we see all around us was not caused by the Constitution. This has been caused by unfair policies… What is important is, number one, our energy cost. Number two, our justice system. Our system must be efficient and trustworthy,” Pimentel stressed.
Governance and Policy Expert Ira Paulo Pozon meanwhile cautioned the public not to be swayed by promises that amending the economic provisions in the country will bring progress to the nation “overnight.”
“Ang epekto nito, for example ang economic provisions, mararamdaman ng taumbayan yan 5 years from now. 10 years from now… hindi talaga to overnight,” Pozon stressed.
Amid non-stop exchanges about Cha-cha, two youth groups who form part of the 65.7 million young voters in the 2022 elections admitted the fact that majority of today’s generation do not fully understand Charter change.
“Sa obserbasyon po naming walang intension ang kasalaukuyang intension ang kasalukuyang gobyerno na ikunsulta o ipagbigay-alam sampubliko ang batas na niraratsada nila tulad ng charter change… hindi ho (naiintindihan ng mga kabataan) dahil hindi rin ho napapag-usapan sapublic space o social media,” KATRIBU National Chairperson Eloisa Mesina said, whose group advocates for the protection of the Indigenous People’s and Muslim communities.
“Napaka-bread and butter ng Konstitusyon… we want a future that works for us for the majority of youth a pag grumadweyt kami magta-trabaho kami in full,” John Samuel Lazaro, National Coordinator of SPARK, said.
Mesina and Lazaro said, various youth organizations are now doing their own share in educating their fellow youth about charter change, and its impact to their life and future.
Efforts include visiting State universities and colleges where they would hold group discussions, distributing pamphlets and other readings about Cha-cha, Medina said.