No wholesale adoption of draft federal constitution, says House Speaker

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 10 2018 04:16 PM

MANILA - Congress will have to first study the draft federal constitution created by President Rodrigo Duterte's consultative committee on charter change, the leader of the House of Representatives said Tuesday. 

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Congress could not just adopt the draft charter as there is a process involved in making amendments to the 1987 Constitution. 

“Kinakailangan hong pag-aralan namin 'yan. Kasi siyempre hindi naman natin puwedeng basta sabihin na, 'o ayan, lunukin niyo 'yan.' Di ba? Kinakailangan talagang tamang proseso na dadaanan noong kung ano man ang kailangang i-revise sa ating Saligang Batas,” he told ABS-CBN News.

(We need to study that. Of course we can't just say here, just accept it. Right? Whatever revision of the constitution we need has to go through the right process.)

Duterte has already approved the consultative committee's draft federal charter, which he said he would endorse to Congress. 

The document is part of the administration's move to shift to a federal form of government, among the President's campaign promises which he believes would help spur countryside development.

The President wants the charter review body to revise a provision that would enable him to step down during the transition period. 

The charter proposed by the consultative committee aims to establish a federal republic with 16 federated regions, the Bangsamoro, and the Federated Region of the Cordilleras.

The proposed charter also retains the president and vice president as heads of government but they will have to be voted as a team or as part of the same party.

The federal republic will be divided into 18 federated states, represented by 2 senators each. The House of Representatives will still be composed of not more than 400 members.