Palace to seek public feedback on draft charter

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2018 03:49 PM

Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno (middle) converses with former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura and former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. after voting on a draft federal constitution in July. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday said it would seek public feedback on the draft federal charter created by its 22-member consultative committee, after President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers expressed apprehension over it.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque admitted that concerns raised by the President’s economic managers about the draft charter’s potential negative impact on the economy prompted the chief executive to consider seeking feedback from the public.

Roque said while the President was “fully satisfied” with the work of the consultative committee, he wants to “consider the comments of the people and improve the draft accordingly before officially transmitting it to Congress.”

Asked whether the consultations would delay the submission of the Palace-backed draft to Congress, Roque said there has been no timeline set for the shift to federalism and that the President merely wants “open, frank, candid and reasoned discussions” on the proposed revisions to the charter.

He also said Duterte remains committed to federalism even while he asked for more time for the public to scrutinize the draft charter.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia are also expected to submit their proposals for economic provisions of the charter, Roque said.

Duterte has been seeking to change the country’s form of government to federalism, saying this would solve inequality among regions. He, however, faces an uphill battle as majority of Filipinos appear to reject changing the charter at this point.