The proposal to lengthen the tenure from the present three years to four years or five years could be one of the amendments the committee on constitutional amendments would endorse to the House.
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House eyes longer term for lawmakers, LGU execs
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - September 29, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is eyeing a longer term of office for lawmakers and thousands of officials of provinces, cities and towns.

The proposal to lengthen the tenure from the present three years to four years or five years could be one of the amendments the committee on constitutional amendments would endorse to the House.

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier said he was in favor of a four-year or a five-year term.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who chairs the committee on constitutional amendments, yesterday said there is growing consensus among members of his panel for a change in the term of office of members of Congress and local officials.

He said most of the committee’s resource persons during its first daylong hearing last Wednesday shared such consensus.

“The prevailing sentiment was that three years is too short for good work. We are inclined to have a term of four years or five years,” he said.

He added that there was also near-unanimity among committee members and its resource persons on changing the economic provisions of the Charter to allow for a future relaxation or lifting of restrictions on foreign ownership of land and businesses in the country.

Rodriguez and Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. of Pampanga are among the authors of resolutions seeking changes in both the economic and political provisions of the country’s basic law.

Gonzales said three years is too short for lawmakers or local officials to legislate or implement “meaningful reforms, projects and development” in districts or local government units.

“The first year is spent on organizing the office and staff and learning the ropes, if you are a neophyte. On the second year, you try to do serious work. On the third year, you begin campaigning for the next elections. So effectively, only one year, or a year-and-a-half at most, is devoted to work,” he said.

He said there would be longer time for a congressman or a local official to do his job if the term were four years or five years.

Rodriguez and Gonzales are also proponents of economic Charter change.

They said lifting or relaxing foreign equity restrictions in the Constitution could bring in more foreign investments.

“More investments would mean more jobs and income for our people,” they said.

The Rodriguez committee is scheduled to conduct more consultations in the weeks ahead.

LAWMAKERS LGU LONGER TERM
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