Arroyo: House to focus on draft federal charter
The House of Representatives will concentrate on its draft federal charter in the coming week, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said Thursday.
Resolution of Both Houses of Congress (RBH) No. 15 is currently at the period of interpellations. Debates on it continued during plenary sessions this week but its passage on second reading had been unsuccessful due to lack of quorum.
“It’s the last of President Duterte’s SONA agenda. Everything else has already passed. So, I guess, we’ll be concentrating on that next week,” Arroyo said of RBH 15 during an interview in Porac, Pampanga.
“Of course, we know that there will still be many steps. But the thing is, we will bring it as far as we can bring it in the hope that the next Congress can continue the work,” she added.
Last October 2, the House constitutional amendments panel approved and referred to the plenary the draft charter which provides for a presidential-bicameral-federal system of government. The Arroyo-led resolution was filed on Sept. 19.
Conrado “Ding” Generoso, the spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Consultative Committee, has raised several red flags on the House draft charter, branding it as worse than the 1935 Constitution.
Under the House draft, members of Congress would be elected for a term of four years. There was no term limit provided, but the lawmakers should be tertiary education degree holders.
The first election under the proposed Constitution would be held on the second Monday of May 2022.
The draft also became controversial when it excluded the Vice President from the line of succession during the transition period to a federal form of government.
Because of the backlash, the lower chamber returned the draft to the committee level on October 10.
Last November 12, the House panel agreed to place Vice President Leni Robredo back in the line of succession. /muf
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