Constitutional reform drive alive during pandemic, 281,000 signatures gathered: CORE head


Posted at May 20 2020 08:58 AM | Updated as of May 20 2020 09:49 AM

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MANILA - A group of civic organizations in support of constitutional reforms (CORE) on Wednesday said it was helping the Department of the Interior and Local Government in collecting signatures for its campaign.

The DILG earlier denied it was behind a signature campaign to push for federalism as the country battled the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the pandemic hit, the group was able to collect some 281,000 signatures against its target of 1 to 2 million, according to former Masbate governor Vicente Revil, head of DILG's CORE movement.

"Yes, we are continuing this because we have seen now, especially with the present situation the effects on the health and economy of our country, it is just right that we have to correct these structural flaws that’s happening with our governance," he told ANC.

"We still have to work and ensure that in the long run this pandemic will be properly addressed in solving the holistic approach, not only in the health sector but also in the economic part."

The group supports amendments to the Constitution that would equally distribute the wealth of the country among all regions, not just in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Central Luzon, Revil said.

"Before this balik probinsiya advocacy, our call was paluwagin ang Metro Manila, payamanin ang mga probinsya," he said.

"We have 17 regions, and in this 3 regions this is where the population and economy is concentrated. There must be an equitable division of wealth," he added, noting that the regions also recorded the highest cases of COVID-19.

The group said it was pushing for amendments to the Constitution and not the Local Government Code to ensure long-term policies.

"The Local Government Code is done by a mere legislative act. It can be changed anytime," Revil said.

Aside from equal distribution of wealth among regions, the group also supports provisions against turncoatism, political dynasty, and tandem voting for President and Vice President.

In December, members of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments approved four proposals to change the Constitution.