PCL leader urges President Duterte to form charter change commission

BAGUIO CITY — The Philippine Councilors League (PCL), which committed to help in the campaign for Federalism, is urging President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to already form the Presidential Commission for Charter change for the move to have a direction and determine the model that will be adopted for the Philippines.

PCL National Chairman, Baguio Councilor Elmer Datuin, in an interview on Thursday afternoon said they have already conducted “Federalism 101” sessions where the benefits of the said system of government was explained to different groups. The advantages and disadvantages of federalism were also explained during talks of members of the PCL around the country.

Datuin explained that the commission that the President will create will come up with a model and recommend to the two chambers of the congress the final version, which when approved will be subjected to a plebiscite.

He relayed that during the last meeting of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), a conglomerate of elected officials in the different levels of the government, two weeks ago, the group discussed possible models which the country can adapt.

He mentioned of the French, Sweden, American and Malaysian model of a federal form of government. “The most applicable model we think, for the Philippines is the Malaysia model,” he said.

While there are many officials in government as well as private persons who support President Duterte’s campaign for a shift in the country’s democratic form of government to federalism, the top question asked, he said is “what model to follow.”

Datuin also said PCL is pushing for the inclusion of their sector in the commission that President Duterte will form.

During the term of former President Corazon Aquino, a 50-man commission was created, which drafted the 1987 Constitution.

During the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, she also created a 25-man commission that came up with a proposal for some changes in the country’s primary law, which, however did not materialize following the end of her term. PNA-northboundasia.com