Document: The amended House draft federal charter
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives passed on second reading its proposed federal charter on Tuesday after allowing only three session days for plenary debates.
Resolution of Both Houses of Congress (RBH) No. 15, principally-authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, proposes a presidential-bicameral-federal system of government. It was filed last September 19.
The draft charter seeks the establishment of a two-party system, where the President and Vice President would be elected as a team, both with a four-year term subject to one re-election.
It also adds a college degree as a requirement for holding national elective positions.
Members of Congress would also have a term of four years, with no limits on re-election.
During the period of amendments on Tuesday, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio proposed that the term limit for members of House and Senate and local government officials be restored, but this was rejected by a majority vote.
Tinio also tried to insert a provision to prohibit political dynasties which was likewise turned down. But his proposal to insert the phrase “voting separately” in a constituent assembly was accepted.
Among his other rejected amendments were: the deletion of Article IV Bill of Duties, Art. VII Political Parties, and the removal of “lawless violence” as a ground for suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or declaration martial law by the President.
Some of the amendments proposed by Iligan Rep. Frederick Siao were also accepted, such as the inclusion of the Bangsamoro as a federal state and the inclusion of high crimes or betrayal of public trust as grounds for impeachment.
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. The House constitutional amendments panel later placed Vice President Leni Robredo back in the line of succession amid criticisms.
(An earlier version of the House draft charter can be accessed here: Resolution of Both Houses Proposing the Revision of the 1987 Constitution)
Arroyo and constitutional amendments panel chair, Leyte 3rd District Rep. Vicente Veloso, said the chamber may pass the measure on final reading by Monday. /muf
Read the amended or second reading version of RBH 15 here: