Extend congressmen’s term? Palace says ask the public

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 11 2019 03:14 PM | Updated as of Jul 11 2019 05:06 PM

MANILA- The House of Representatives should seek public opinion on a proposal to extend lawmakers’ terms, a Palace official said Thursday.

The public’s opinion will play a significant role on Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s push for an extension of lawmakers’ terms, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

“I think more relevant would be what the people want. I think they should conduct a survey on the sentiments of the people, whether or not they agree on that proposal. And I’m sure since that has been floated, there will be opinions being expressed by many sectors,” Panelo, also the chief legal counsel of the President, told reporters.

Cayetano, the first choice of President Rodrigo Duterte for House Speaker in the 18th Congress, is calling to extend lawmakers’ terms to 4 years with no term limits, or 5 years with term limits.

"It is not a political thing. It is a practical thing," he said Wednesday before a gathering of legislators.

Panelo, however, noted that the decision lies on the members of Congress.

“The decision would always lie of the members of Congress, because they are the ones passing the bill,” he said.

Under the 1987 Constitution, members of the House of Representatives are allowed to serve a term of 3 years and no more than 3 consecutive terms.