Draft federal Charter gets House’s final nod
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives swiftly approved on the third and final reading its controversial draft federal Charter on Tuesday, barely three months since it was filed in the chamber.
The lower chamber voted 224 to 22 to give its final go to the Resolution of Both Houses of Congress (RBH) No. 15 — principally-authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo — which proposes a presidential-bicameral-federal system of government. Three lawmakers abstained from the nominal voting.
DOCUMENT: The amended House draft federal charter
RBH 15, filed on September 19, was approved on second reading last December 4, with only three session days allotted for plenary debates.
The draft charter seeks the establishment of a two-party system, where the President and Vice President would be elected in tandem, 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 meanwhile would have a term of four years, with no limits on re-election under the draft.
RBH 15 also lacks an anti-political dynasty provision and sets the first election on the second Monday of May 2022.
During his explanation of a no vote, Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza demanded a list of those who actually voted to check if there was really a quorum during the nominal voting on RBH 15.
“I voted no emphatically simply because we believe that the Constitution should not be tampered with or revised or changed in this manner,” Atienza said.
“We agree that the Constitution should be revised but not in this manner. The people’s full involvement and knowledge of what they’re doing and what they want for the future should have been considered in this particular issue.” /je
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.