House panel OKs substitute bill to implement con-con resolution
MANILA, Philippines — A House of Representatives panel on Monday approved a committee report on a bill that calls for a constitutional convention to amend the 1987 Constitution.
After approving the unnumbered bill, the House Committee on constitutional amendments also gave the nod to the committee report containing the substitute bill, which includes revisions made during the hearing.
Seventeen lawmakers voted in favor of the committee report, two registered negative votes, and none abstained.
If enacted, the unnumbered bill will be the enabling law implementing Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, which seeks the election of a constitutional convention.
The proposed measure outlines how the constitutional convention would be created — how many delegates would be invited, how many would be appointed by the House Speaker and the Senate President, what are the qualifications, and how much funds would be needed.
The committee report would then be referred to the House Committee on appropriation for budget-related deliberations about the bill.
It could be remembered that a week ago, the same committee approved RBH No. 6 calling for a constitutional convention — and not a constituent assembly — to amend the existing constitution.
With a constitutional convention, the delegates would be elected by the people to form the said body. However, the House adopted the proposal of former chief justice Reynato Puno to use a “hybrid constitutional convention,” where certain appointments would also be made to ensure a balance between political families and constitutional experts.
Puno suggested during a previous hearing of the Committee on constitutional amendments.
If a constituent assembly were used, it would have meant incumbent lawmakers from both the House and the Senate would be in charge of amending the constitution.