Con-Com votes to adopt federal-presidential gov’t system
The Consultative Committee (Con-Com), tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution, decided to adopt a federal-presidential system of government on Tuesday.
In the initial voting, nine voted in favor of the federal-presidential system, while one voted for the parliamentary system, and eight for the hybrid semi-presidential system. Two members were absent during the eight-hour session.
Under their rules, the votes should reach the majority votes of the members present, which is 10 votes. A run-off was then conducted, which resulted to 11 votes in favor of the federal-presidential system, and seven in favor of the hybrid system.
“We are more familiar with that setup therefore we know its strengths and weaknesses, therefore we can make or adopt measures to further strengthen it and remedy its weakness,” Pimentel said upon voting.
“We cannot afford a system where we see too many parts of the body that we have yet to capture,” said Retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who also chairs the committee, as he called the hybrid system an “experiment” with great risks.
The federal-presidential system follows the current setup of national government — headed by a president and vice president, and with executive, legislative and judiciary departments.
But apart from this, the country would also have individual federal states with their own federal legislature and local governments.
The United States also follows a federal-presidential system.
In December 2016, Duterte formed the committee through an executive order to “study, conduct consultations, and review” the provisions of the 30-year-old Constitution, in line with the government’s plan to shift to a federal form of government.
He later appointed its 20 members, who are legal luminaries and mostly federalism advocates.
Retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno chairs the executive consultative committee, which is expected to present after six months its proposals to Duterte, who will then submit it to the Congress.
Congress may either affirm or dismiss the recommendations. /je
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