Nancy Binay: Public should be fully informed on Cha-cha
Senator Nancy Binay underscored on Sunday the need for an intensive public consultation and information campaign to help people fully understand the pros and cons of Charter change (Cha-cha).
“Personally, magandang pag-usapan pero para sa akin mahabang proseso. Huwag nating madaliin. Dapat talaga himayin,” Binay said in a statement.
(Personally, it’s good to discuss it but it’s a long process. Let’s not rush it. We need to really break it down.)
“Kung papalitan natin iyong Konstitusyon, ano yung dapat palitan. Kailangan ba magchange tayo ng form of goverment or may certain provisions lang doon na i-aamend?” she added.
(If we change the Constitution, what needs to be changed? Do we need to change the form of government or are there just certain provisions that need to be amended?)
Binay said she got assurance from the Senate committee on constitutional amendments that they would be conducting public consultations with different sectors on Charter change.
“In fact, iyon na iyong commitment ni chairman, ni Senator Kiko [Pangilinan], na iikot siya para tanungin ang ating mga kababayan,” she said.
(In fact, that is the commitment of the chairman, Senator Kiko, that he will go around to ask the public.)
Earlier, Binay urged lawmakers to first look at how to properly implement the Local Government Code before considering amending the constitution and shifting to a federal form of government.
She said issues like decentralization and strengthening local autonomy are better addressed by strictly implementing the Local Government Code.
“Mas ako ang panawagan ko i-implement muna natin ang Local Government Code kasi iyon ang lumabas sa hearing kahapon na kumbaga common complaint ay hindi inimplement fully ang Local Government Code,” Binay said.
(I would call first that we implement the Local Government Code because that’s what came out of the hearing yesterday; it’s the common complaint that the Local Government Code isn’t fully implemented.)
“Actually, more than amending, implementing e. Yun yung nakakalungkot sa atin, kasi yung parang mga ginagawang batas suggestion. Hindi siya iniimplement by not funding it, so di ba, andyan yung batas pero walang pondo, so wala lang, suggestion lang yung batas,” she added.
(Actually, more than amending, it’s implementing. That’s what’s sad here, because they make the laws as suggestions. They’re not being implemented by not funding it, so they law is there but there’s no funds, so it’s nothing, the law is just a suggestion.)
Binay said that while the Local Government Code devolved powers to local governments, some of its key features remain unimplemented.
“Siguro baka kailangan magdownload pati yung funding ibigay na natin sa LGU. And then tingnan natin by empowering them by funding them kung makakapagdeliver sila. Siguro kung magkaroon ng failure, saka natin tignan baka it’s high time to make changes,” Binay said.
(Maybe we need to download it, even give the funding to the lower government units. And then let’s see if we can empower them by funding them if they can deliver. If a failure occurs, then we will see that it could be high time to make changes.)
Last Tuesday, the House of Representatives adopted Concurrent Resolution No. 9, which seeks to convene Congress into a Con-ass. The lower chamber is also pushing for a joint voting of the Congress, which the Senate is strongly opposing.
Lawmakers have yet to decide on whether the proposed Constitutional amendment should be through a Constitutional convention (Con-con), where changes would be proposed by representatives elected by the people, or through a Con-ass to be composed of sitting legislators.
After agreeing on the mode of Cha-cha and consequently proposing amendments, a referendum by the Filipino people would be held to approve or reject these changes. /je
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