The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments will begin Thursday, Jan. 26 its formal deliberations on proposed measures for Charter Change (Cha-cha) in the current 19th Congress.
The panel is chaired by Cagayan de Oro City 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, a lawyer and resident legal luminary in the lower chamber.
It was back during a Dec. 17, 2022 preliminary meeting of the panel that Rodriguez set Jan. 26, 2023 as the start of the Cha-cha discussions.
Specifically, the Committee on Constitutional Amendments will tackle House Bill (HB) No.6698, or the proposal to constitute a constitutional convention to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution, defining qualifications for its delegates appropriating thereof. Manila 6th district Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. filed the measure.
Also slated to be discussed is a “petition for indirect initiative pursuant to Sections 3(B) and 11 of RA 6735, otherwise known as the Initiative and Referendum Act, for Congress to enact ‘An Act calling for a constitutional convention’, providing for proportional representation therein and other details relating to the election of delegates to and the holding of the constitutional convention” by the Kapatiran Party (Alliance for the Common Good) represented by Edilberto Cuenca, Norman Cabrera, and lawyer Alex Lacson in their capacity as officers of the party and as taxpayers.
Also among those to be tackled by the Rodriguez panel Thursday are HB No.4926, or the proposed Act constituting constitutional convention to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution, defining qualifications for its delegates who shall be elected simultaneously with the barangay or national elections, appropriating funds for its operations (filed by C,amarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte); HB No.4421 or the proposed Act prescribing the order of presidential succession ( Patrol Party-list Rep. Jorge ‘Patrol’ Bustos); Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 1 or the proposed amendments to Section 7, Article VI on Legislative Department; Section 4, Article VII on Executive Department; and Section 8, Article X on Local Government of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines (Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd district Rep. Aurelio ‘Dong’ Gonzales Jr.); and House Joint Resolution (HJR) 12 calling for a constitutional convention to propose amendments to, or revision of, the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines (Rodriguez).
A constitutional convention or con-con calls for the election one delegate from every legislative district in the country. These delegates would then be tasked to come up with possible revisions to the 1987 Charter.
There are currently 243 congressional districts in the Philippines.
Moves to amend the Constitution–which is now pushing 40 years old–have been recurring endeavor in the Philippine legislature.