AGOO, La Union – Allies of President Duterte in the PDP-Laban submitted on Wednesday at the House of Representatives’ Committee on Constitutional Amendments for deliberations on the changes in the 1987 Constitution for the shift to a Federal form of government. which include the term extension for local officials.
Jonathan Malaya, executive director of the PDP-Laban Federalism Institute, said that all the amendments proposed by the administration party were already given to the Committee for deliberation.
“The PDP-Laban form of Federalism is the creation of two chamber of government which seeks to empower local governments and equalization of funds. This is a system of bringing government services closer to the people,” Malaya said.
Malaya, who was here on a lecture tour on Federalism, said that also included in the proposed amendments is the term extension of governors, mayors and other local elective officials from three years to five years with one reelection.
“Three years is so short and there’s so much fund needed in election. The election has become a business affair. Our proposal is five years because we think that’s already enough and if it became two terms, that’s already ten years,” Malaya said.
He also said that the proposed Federal government is seeks to create eleven regional states and it was patterned on the form proposed by former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr.
Malaya said they expect that the Committee will tackle the proposal so that by January 2018, Congress will convene into a Constituional Assembly to deliberate on the matter until December of the same year.
“The Committee has started deliberation on our proposal and if finished, the Con-Ass will convene on January and, hopefully, the plebescite will be held by 2019 or 2020,” he said.
Malaya said that the series of consultations on Federalism had won overwhelming support in Mindanao and Visayas while some issues are being discussed in the Luzon area.
La Union Governor Francisco Ortega III expressed full support for President Duterte in changing the form of government into Federalism because, he said, this will pave the way for progress in the provinces and in the whole country.
“This (Federalism) will fullfill our desire for real change. We need to move forward through the next step to improve the economy, especially in the local level to help our constituents,” Ortega, who attended the consultation held at the Eriguel Gym here, said.
La Union 2nd District Representative Sandra Young-Eriguel said that she has initiated the wide distribution of reading materials on Federalism to her constituents in the district for them to be enlightened on the proposed change of government.
Sandra and her husband, former Congressman Franny Eriguel, hosted the more than 3,000 delegates of the consultation while those in the first district were gathered at the Ortega Gym in San Fernando City for the same purpose. NPN-northboundasia.com