Alvarez bats for intensified Cha-cha education drive
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday defended the Duterte administration’s flagship advocacy of amending the Constitution to shift to a federal form of government, as he emphasized the need to intensify efforts in educating Filipinos on the issue.
Alvarez made this statement in response to the results of the March 2018 Ulat ng Bayan survey of Pulse Asia which showed that 64 percent of Filipinos were not in favor of amending the Constitution, and 66 percent opposed a shift to a federal form of government.
The House leader noted that the survey, which also found that 75 percent of Filipinos have little or almost none or no knowledge about the 1987 Constitution, “tells us very clearly that we must come together and intensify the information, education and communication campaigns throughout the country…”
The Charter change (Cha-cha) being proposed in the Congress could lead into a shift to a federal form of government, which was one of Duterte’s campaign promises, and an advocacy of his party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
While Alvarez, PDP-Laban secretary general, said the House is already doing its best to explain to Filipinos the benefits of the federal system over the current unitary system, the big challenge would be to make the information seep down to the grassroots.
The Speaker also questioned why the survey only focused on the federal system of government and ignored asking about the unitary system of government.
“Why did the survey only focus on the federal system? If the respondents were also asked about a unitary system of government, many more would have answered that they do not understand or know little about it all,” he pointed out.
The House leader stressed that while the Duterte administration respects the survey result showing that most Filipinos were more concerned with higher pay for workers, lower prices of basic goods and employment opportunities, he said “we need to prepare for the future.”
“Beyond satisfying the everyday needs of our people, we must erect the foundations of a better life for our people by reducing poverty levels through sustained economic growth in the coming years,” Alvarez said.
“Charter change and the shift to a federal system are our roadmap to a better future for all,” he added./ac
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