SPEAKER Pantaleon Alvarez wants speedy discussion of Charter Change to ensure the measure’s passage before the 2019 elections.
In a press briefing, Alvarez said with or without the Constitutional Commission, Congress will start discussing Constitutional amendments by next year.
“Uumpisahan na yang pag-usapan sa committee level and then ipapasa namin ganun din doon sa Senado. We can agree puwede namin i-convene yung Congress into Constituent Assembly,” Alvarez said.
“The earlier the better, kasi may elections sa 2019,” he added.
Alvarez has sent President Rodrigo Duterte a request to create a Con-Com with at least 25 members which will assist the members of Congress in overhauling the decades-old Constitution.
While there is already an Executive Order creating the Con-Com its members have not yet been appointed by the President.
But Alvarez denied speculations that the Palace is having difficulty in selecting the commission’s members due to candidates’ lack of qualification or interest.
“Lahat yan interesado, sobra-sobra pa nga. Ang daming nag-submit ng pangalan nila for consideration. Ewan ko, medyo marami lang talaga siguro ginagawa ang Malacañang,” Alvarez said.
“But definitely, pag hindi iyan nangyari this year, definitely, with or without the Commission by next year uumpisahan ng Kongreso yan,” the House leader added.
The House committee on constitutional amendments approved the concurrent resolution calling on Congress to convene in an assembly to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
The bill has been pending in the plenary for sponsorship and discussion since last year.
President Rodrigo Duterte wants Congress to act fast on efforts to place the Philippines under a federal form of government.