Federal constitution

Published July 15, 2018, 10:00 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Francis Tolentino 

Francis N. Tolentino
Francis N. Tolentino

Charter change rings even louder and clearer as days go by. Our three decades and one-year-old Constitution might need total revision if the funda­mental principles of the land are to tru­ly embody the values and aspirations of the Filipino people. The debate over the need for Charter change (Cha-cha) and the urgency of this need has been very extensive, let alone exhaustive. I believe a new constitution that is more attuned to present-day needs is a pre­requisite for more meaningful change and development to take place.

Looking back in Philippine history, Filipino lawmakers have always recog­nized the need to amend the Constitu­tion according to the economic and socio-political changes that took place. Our social, political, and economic landscapes are being altered every now and then by both internal and ex­ternal circumstances, hence the need for legislation to adapt to this change follows thereafter. The 1935, 1973, and 1987 Constitutions of the Philippines are points in our history that affirm our need to adapt to a very dynamic world community. Our fourth revision of the Philippine Constitution seems to be well underway, and I am convinced that this change is timely, relevant, and urgent.

The national government’s objec­tive of inclusive growth and develop­ment cannot be realized unless the conditions are set right. Charter change will enable our lawmakers to reform outdated provisions in our Constitution and tailor-fit this, so to speak, to address our present and anticipated needs as a nation. Charter change will also enable us to shift to a federal system of government, which in turn will ensure greater local com­munity development through decen­tralization of power and resources. Federalism is our first step towards national inclusive growth. Our funda­mental laws should ensure that the people’s well-being is always at the forefront, and that national interests are safeguarded.

What made our past constitutional amendments successful was the fact that the people trusted the process. Now that we are confronted with an­other imminent Charter change, I see no reason for unfounded doubts and fears for Charter change. Our past Cha-cha’s enabled us to move forward as a nation united in spirit and vision. With deep faith and high hopes, the coming Charter change will pave the way for us towards global competitive­ness and inclusive growth.