'Serve people before ourselves': Cavite governor urges officials to focus on pandemic, not charter change

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 23 2020 08:25 AM | Updated as of Jul 23 2020 09:08 AM

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla. Handout

MANILA — Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla urged fellow officials on Thursday to "serve the people first before we serve ourselves" by focusing on containing the coronavirus pandemic instead of pushing for charter change.

The government should "prioritize testing, contact tracing and isolation" to curb the spread of COVID-19, and then unite the people "towards economic recovery," he said.

"Dapat, wala tayong ibang unahin na kung ano ano. Pagtuunan sana natin ng singular na atensyon ang paglaban at pagsugpo sa pandemya at lahat ng problema na dulot nito," Remulla told his 1.5 million Facebook followers.

(We shouldn't be putting other things first. I hope we give singular attention to fighting and curbing the pandemic and all the problems it had caused.)

"Tsaka na yang Charter Change (ChaCha) or the proposed Amendments to the Constitution. Unahin ang importante. Let us serve the people first before we serve ourselves," he added.

(Charter change or the proposed Amendments to the Constitution can wait. What is important should be first.)

Home to some 3.7 million people, Cavite is the most populous province in Calabarzon region, according to 2015 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The interior department said over the weekend that 1,488 municipal mayors support 2 constitutional reforms, namely:

- the lifting of foreign restrictions in industries limited to Filipinos;
- and sourcing internal revenue allotments (IRA) for local governments from all national taxes, and not only those collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

"Nothing in the proposal... seeks to do away with the 2022 elections," said Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, administrator of his agency's Federalism and Constitutional Reform program.