Philippines: Senate to prioritize charter-change: Pimentel

  • Amending the Constitution will be the priority of the Senate when Congress resumes session on 15 Jan 18 to start the process of shifting the country to a federal system, Senate President Aquilno “Koko” Pimentel III said 12 Jan 18.
  • He said the Senate would “work harder to improve the quality of life for all” as they tackle other priority bills including the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, Anti-Terrorism Law, National ID System and the Universal Healthcare for All Filipinos Act.
  • Pimentel is expected to file next week his own proposal for Charter change (Cha-cha) that calls on the Senate and House of Representatives to convene into a constituent assembly (con-ass) to draft the amendments to provide for a federal system in the Constitution.
  • Pimentel said while many Filipinos remain unconvinced by the administration party PDP-Laban’s campaign for federalism, there is a “critical mass” that will ensure success for the change in the form of government.
  • Senators earlier expressed support for amending the Constitution, including its economic provisions, but said the process should not be rushed and would not entail the cancellation of the elections and the abolition of the Senate. He said the committee would first determine if there is a need to amend the Constitution; which provisions should be amended and the mode of amending the Charter.

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