Duterte makes another push for Charter change

Published June 25, 2019, 9:31 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has urged lawmakers to still amend the Constitution to improve the country’s situation even if they are no longer inclined to pursue the shift to the federal government.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the 2019 Eid'l Fitr Celebration at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Davao City on June 6, 2019. (JOEY DALUMPINES / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (JOEY DALUMPINES / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“If you do not want federalism, fine, but change the Constitution that would change this nation,” the President said during the oath-taking of newly elected government officials in Malacañang.

The President appeared to have accepted the situation that the federalism bill might not hurdle Congress. He previously endorsed the shift to federalism to spur regional development as one of his legislative priorities but the proposal failed to pass in Congress.

The President has also made a push for amendments to the Charter’s economic provisions. He has long wanted to ease foreign investment restrictions in the country to attract more businesses and generate jobs.

The House of Representatives had earlier crafted its draft federal Constitution that retains the presidential form of government but allows Congress to create federal states as well as lifts the term limits of lawmakers. The Senate, on the other hand, is not keen on pursuing the proposed Charter change for now.

 
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