Carlos: There'll be no political dynasties in a parliamentary form of gov't

There will be no political dynasties should the Philippines shifts to a parliamentary form of government like that in the United Kingdom, National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos told senators in a hearing on Friday, September 2.

There are no term limits and there is a very strong bureaucracy in a parliamentary form of government, Carlos said during the continuation of the public hearing by the Senate constitutional amendments committee on a proposal to revise the 1987 Constitution, including amendment to the restrictive economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution.

Critics have stated that political dynasties continue to exist in Philippine Congress.

Parliament is supreme over a presidential form of government, she added.

According to Carlos, she disagrees with the piecemeal revision of the Constitution, noting that it would just be a waste of time.

“We are changing it (Constitution) because we want structural change. We want structural change because we want behavioral change,” she pointed out.

Solita Monsod, Professor Emeritus at the UP School of Economics and Socio-economic planning secretary of the late President Corazon Aquino, said the claim that the economic provisions of the Constitution have closed the door to foreign direct investment (FDI) is not borne out by the facts.

“Amending the Constitution is not likely to open any new doors to FDI because for all intents and purposes, the doors are already open. It is not necessary to amend the Constitution. What’s more, amending the Constitution will not bring in FDI unless the factors affecting FDI are addressed. It is not sufficient to amend the Constitution,” Monsod said.

Monsod that the Philippines has to be attractive because even Filipino capital is leaving the country for nearby countries.

"You expect foreigners to come in?" she asked.

Foreigners look to countries that have economical political and social stability, she added.

The committee is tackling Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 which seeks to convene the 19th Congress as a Constitutional Assembly and to propose amendments to certain restrictive economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution; and Senate Resolution No. 6 which seeks to review and study the Constitution.

Padilla, earlier, lamented that some officials of the Executive branch have failed to attend his committee hearing despite invitations to them.

Senator Ronald ‘’Bato’’ dela Rosa emphasized that the Executive and Legislative branches of government are co-equal.

"We deserve the courtesy to each other. We deserve your attention unless you are over and above the Legislature," dela Rosa said.

The Department of Energy (DOE) notified the committee that Secretary Raphael Lotilla could not attend but would soon submit a ‘’written comment at a later date due to internal study.’’

The Department of Finance (DOF) sent its own representative.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan sent Bien Ganapin as his representative.

Ganapin told Padilla that NEDA is leaving to Congress its wisdom to take the step to meet the requirements of a modern economy.

Orion Perez Dumdum, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), of the Constitutional Reform and Rectification for Economic Competitiveness and Transformation ((CoRRECT) returned to the hearing to restate the advantages of countries opening their doors to foreign direct investments (FDIs).

Dumdum had said that countries that open their doors to foreign investors such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam have become economically prosperous.

But Monsod pointed out that China is still the biggest recipient of foreign investments although it is one of the most restrictive.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III expresses belief that adopting a parliamentary form of government would be beneficial for the Philippines as it is more suitable for the Filipino culture.

Pimentel explained that unlike in a presidential system wherein the executive branch is the one that implements laws created by Congress, in a parliamentary system there is a merging or fusion of legislative and executive powers. Pimentel explained that under a parliamentary form of government, the parliament determines the composition of the executive branch and its mission is to implement laws and programs authorized by the Legislature.

“I really want to pursue this parliamentary system of government. Maybe now is the right time, especially with the fast-changing technology, science and even economic policies and theories. So maybe we can react more quickly if we adopt a parliamentary system of government,” Pimentel said.

Senator Francis “Tol” N. Tolentino assured that he would continue to support discussions that will lead towards improvement of governance in the country.

Reflecting on a 1962 speech of former Senate President Camilo Osías, Tolentino said that he also supports a government that goes through periodic change.

"I think the proceedings today is very timely... After 1962, the speech of Senator Osias still would reverberate in the memory of historians because now we are talking of parliamentary and federalism... and I hope the discussion will be elevated nationally, to a level beyond partisan politics and even a discussion that should include the grassroots level," Tolentino said.

Padilla said his committee hearings would soon take place in the provinces such as Cebu, the Cordilleras, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and General Santos.

He said autonomy is successful in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Because of scheduling of committee hearings, Padilla said his committee would go out of town after the Senate budget hearings.