President Rodrigo Duterte’s 22-member Consultative Committee (Con-com) approved the final draft of the proposed federal Constitution on Tuesday, July 3, after nearly five months of deliberation.
The final draft was unanimously approved by the Con-com after former Senate President Nene Pimentel moved to approve it. Pimentel’s motion was unopposed.
“The Con-com hopes to submit the draft to the president on or before July 9—as originally planned—in time for the State of the Nation Address on July 23,” Con-com Spokesperson Ding Generoso told the media.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte will then transmit the proposed revisions to his allies at the House of Representatives.
“He will encourage his partymates to study it very closely, and if possible, to pattern the proposed revisions after what the [committee] has recommended,” Roque said.
According to him, the Chief Executive understands that any changes to the Constitution should be approved by Congress. He also said that the Con-com’s draft will surely be considered by the House of Representatives as it is composed mainly of the administration’s PDP-Laban party.
“We have a supermajority in the House. I think at least in the House it will be very persuasive. We’re hoping it will be equally persuasive in the Senate,” Roque said.
The Con-com furnished a briefer of the highlights of the final draft for the media as the copy of the final draft of the federal Charter is yet to be provided to them.
One of Duterte’s campaign promises during the 2016 election race was the shift to a federal form of government.
Under the Con-com’s draft constitution, a family is allowed to run for only two positions in an election — one member for a national position and the other for a regional position as political dynasties have no place under a federal government.
Turncoats among political parties are banned with the intention of promoting and strengthening political parties as public institutions. Campaign contributions from religious organizations and foreigners are banned as well.
The draft also states that the Philippines would have 18 federated regions which would get a share of not less than 50 percent of all the collected taxes on income, excise, value-added tax and customs duties.
The president under the federal government will still be chief executive with a four-year term and can be reelected once. Voters will choose a president-vice president tandem.
Meanwhile, two senators will be elected from each of the 18 federated regions under the draft charter.
The draft also states that President Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo should step down from power on June 30, 2022.