MANILA — The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments on Wednesday deferred its voting on the measure proposing amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
In an interview, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez Rodriguez, panel chair, said the committee members shall be given more time to fully study and discuss the Charter change (Cha-cha) proposals, which include recommendations from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Constitutional Reform.
The committee originally scheduled the voting on the Cha-cha resolution on Wednesday.
“It looks like we are trying to give each and every member and every ex-officio member time to comment because as we have said these are new proposals coming from the government itself,” Rodriguez said.
“[We] may not be able to vote now, otherwise if we rush it there will be the same problem. There will be questions from members, there will be questions from the media so we will keep this really a full discussion of every proposal of the IATF,” he added.
Rodriguez said the committee has already tackled the territory and anti-turncoats’ provisions.
“Now we go to anti-dynasty, terms of office, then we go to the regional election of senators, and then the Mandanas ruling increasing the share of our local governments increase in the Constitution we’ll replace that,” he said.
When asked if the committee is set to vote on the resolution next week, Rodriguez warned against rushing its approval as he stressed the need to thresh out all the proposed provisions.
“We don’t want to rush this because precisely haste makes waste so what we do is we will try to really have them discussed all the provisions that are proposed by the IATF, he said.
Rodriguez said many of the group’s proposals jibe with the Cha-cha suggestions contained in his committee’s initial report.
He said the common recommendations include electing senators by region, fixing a five-year term of office for local officials and House members, and lifting foreign ownership restrictions.
Among the other proposals of the administration’s Cha-cha task force are provisions against political dynasties and turncoats, creation of regional authorities, allocation of a larger share of national revenues for local government units, and state subsidy for political parties.
Rodriguez said the clamor for a larger share of tax collections by the national government stems from a recent Supreme Court ruling that provinces, cities, towns, and barangays throughout the country are entitled to allocations bigger than what they are presently receiving. (iam/sovereignph.com/PNA)