Federalism task force shows Palace resolve on charter change: ex-Sen Pimentel

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 06 2018 09:35 AM | Updated as of Nov 06 2018 10:35 AM

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MANILA - An inter-agency task force on federalism will help bring efforts to rewrite the Constitution back to the mainstream, one of the authors of a draft federal charter said Tuesday.

Malacañang's creation of a task force on federalism will reassure the public that the administration is still pushing for it, said former Senator Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr, a member of President Rodrigo Duterte's consultative committee.

"I think it is timely that the President re-advocated the push for the adoption of a federal system. There is a growing perception that the federalism idea is being relegated to the background. This act of the President will put to rest that perception," he told ANC.

Memorandum Circular 62 called for the creation of an inter-agency task force to integrate, harmonize, and coordinate efforts in promoting federalism and constitutional reform.

The body is supposed to "harmonize, integrate, and coordinate ongoing efforts and to undertake consultations" with members of the consultative committee, government agencies, the private sector, and the public "for the purpose of coming up with its own recommendations on the draft federal constitution," said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Two proposed federal charters have been made public over the past months -- one from the consultative committee and another one drafted by the House committee on constitutional amendments.

Pimentel said it was "not enough" for the public to support federalism, just because the President is pushing for it.

"It's more important that the people truly understand the ways federalism will improve the lives of the people," he said. - with a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News