Malacanang : Federalism still on Duterte’s agenda

Malacanang : Federalism still on Duterte’s agenda

Is Federalism still on the agenda of president Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the second half of his term?

The answer is Yes, Presidential Spokesperson and concurrent Presidential Legal Counsel Atty. Salvador Panelo said federalism is still on his agenda but it is up to Congress to propose what method should be used in amending the 1987 Constitution.

“Ang federalism palagi namang nasa agenda ni Presidente iyon (Federalism has always been in the President’s agenda),” Panelo said in a Palace press conference.
(photo credit to owner)
“But as I repeatedly said, ang bola nasa Kongreso eh (the ball is in the Congress), federalism will entail an amendment to the Constitution,” he added.
Atty. Panelo further said the two chambers of Congress (Senate and the House of Representatives) should first agree on a method of amending the Constitution - either by Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) or Constitutional Convention (Con-Con).
“Hindi proposed legislation ang federalism (Federalism is not a proposed legislation). That is an amendment to the Constitution, you will change the charter eh,” Panelo said.

“Kaya kailangan iyong dalawa mag-agree muna sila (So the two should first agree) how to propose amendments to the Constitution by calling itself as a Constituent Assembly,” he added.
However the Presidential Spokesperson admits that if Congress would fail to agree on amending the 1987 Constitution, there is also the option of changing the government code.
“There have been some issues raised relative to the installation of a federal form of government. Some quarters are saying that we don’t even have to do that, because the Local Government Code would suffice, there’s only a need for certain refinements and amendment to the same,” Panelo said.
“I suppose members of Congress would be looking at that angle. If they cannot agree on amending the Constitution, then they can—that’s a fall back, they look at the government code and see what is need to be done,” he added.

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Report from PNA

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