Alvarez mulls over inclusion of Cha-cha in village polls
DAVAO CITY—Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Saturday said he would urge Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to convene Congress into a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution for a shift to a federal form of government.
“By May 2018 in the barangay elections, we will include in the ratification or plebiscite the approval of the revised Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines,” said Alvarez, even as he expressed hope that federalism would be in place when the country holds the national elections in 2022.
At the launch of the government’s antipoverty initiative dubbed “Biyaya ng Pagbabago” (Blessings of Change) here, Alvarez said federalism was the right path for Mindanao and the rest of the country toward development.
He said the current unitary form of government had failed to solve poverty since revenues from the regions were collected by the central government in Manila.
“Manila is the one that allocates a portion of [the budget] for us. Is that the kind of government you want?” asked Alvarez, drawing cheers from the crowd of over 10,000 at Freedom Park.
Alvarez said the present setup produced “a government [that] helps the rich become richer and the poor, poorer.”
He said he would convince Pimentel for Congress to convene into a constituent assembly to start the drafting of amendments to the 1987 Constitution. —Frinston Lim
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