No timetable yet for ‘Cha-cha’: Fariñas

MANILA — The House of Representatives (HOR) does not have a timetable yet on the proposed Charter change (Cha-cha) that will pave the way for the shift to federalism, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said on Tuesday.

In a message to reporters, Fariñas said Congress has yet to receive the draft Federal Constitution submitted by the 22-member Consultative Committee (ConCom) to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Timetable is too far the table as such draft has not even been officially transmitted to the HOR, if so,” he said.

House committee on constitutional amendments chairman Roger Mercado, meanwhile, said they will await the resumption of sessions before laying the groundwork for discussions on Cha-cha.

In a handover ceremony in Malacañang, Duterte received the 91-page draft Charter from the expert panel chaired by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

The draft Federal Constitution titled “Bayanihan Federalism: Power to the People, Power to the Regions” has 22 articles in total, compared to the 1987 Constitution’s 18 articles.

Duterte’s ConCom unanimously approved the draft Federal Constitution last week in an executive session, over four months after it convened.

ConCom spokesperson Ding Generoso said the President has approved “in toto” or as a whole the draft Federal Constitution and will endorse it to Congress, except for the transitory provisions, which he wants amended.