Charter change via Con-Con pushed

Mounting efforts to amend the country’s Constitution have resurfaced anew, but this time, through the convening of a constitutional convention.

In House Joint Resolution 12, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez seeks to amend the 1987 Constitution, citing various calls from business groups proposing that particular economic provisions must be revisited and redrafted for the country to adapt to the changing times and become globally competitive.

Furthermore, reputable business and economic groups have identified constitutional reform as one of the key policy instruments that must be implemented and are now “long overdue.”

“Political reforms may now as well be required to be incorporated in our Constitution,” Rodriguez said
“The assumption of the new government counteracts any suspicion that the clamor for constitutional reform promotes vested interests and the personal ambitions of elective officials in the guise of constitutional amendments,” he added.

The veteran lawmaker likewise stressed that calling for a Constitutional Convention composed of elected delegates from all regions of the country to propose amendments to the Constitution would be the most “democratic” and “least divisive” of the three modes of amending the Constitution.

The election of delegates from each legislative district to the constitutional convention would be held in October 2023, or simultaneously with the rescheduled barangay polls, if passed by the two chambers of Congress with a vote of two-thirds of their members.

Candidates would have the same qualifications as members of the House of Representatives.

The Commission on Elections chairperson would make all initial preparations for the constitutional convention, which would meet at the lower chamber session hall on 8 January 2024, and be jointly presided over by the Senate President and the House Speaker until the delegates chose a presiding officer.

The constitutional convention will be required to deliver its report to the president, Congress, and Comelec within 30 days of the conclusion of the consolidated charter amendments or revisions. Delegates will serve terms of six months or until 30 June 2024.

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