OFFICIALS of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) welcomed the decision of Congress to resume deliberations on proposals to amend the restrictive provisions in the 1987 Constitution and to convene both Houses of Congress as a constituent assembly.
According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, the resumption of Congressional deliberations on Constitutional Reform (CORE) is both timely and wise.
“Congress has passed Bayanihan I and Bayanihan II and even extended its validity for 1 more year. It also passed the 2021 GAA which allocated funds for vaccine procurement and a more robust Covid response. Congress has done its job to battle the pandemic. It’s now time for Congress to work on long-term reform which is CORE,” he said.
CORE movement also clarified that the deliberation is not Cha-Cha but constitutional reform as it parried criticisms from the oppositors misleading the people on the nature of the amendments being sought.
“It’s not Cha-cha. It’s Constitutional Reform or CORE, which means amending only certain provisions in the 1987 Constitution,” said lawyer Vicente Homer Revil, CORE national chairperson.
Revil pointed out that the amendments to cure the ambiguity in the current system and reforms are designed to make the country stronger and at the same time attuned to the needs of the current times, most especially in the new normal set-up.
He brushed aside the opposition posed by Sen. Franklin Drilon and the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives to the resumption of congressional hearings on proposals to amend restrictive economic provisions in the Charter and to convene both Houses of Congress as a constituent assembly.
Drilon and the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives claimed that pushing reforms was “bad timing” in times of a pandemic and that it was only a gateway for term extension.
Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate said the revival of debates in both chambers of Congress was being used as a “smokescreen” to keep the Duterte administration in power in preparation for the 2022 national elections.
But Revil claimed that Drilon and his allies were just trying to muddle the issue of constitutional reforms by invoking the urgency to solve the pandemic which is the actual priority of the Duterte administration.
“There is no right timing to remove ‘restrictive’ economic provisions in the Constitution than now so that Filipinos could benefit from a more responsive and attuned time,” he said.Publication Source : People's Journal