The committee holds a day-long hearing at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines gymnasium in Cagayan de Oro City. Its chairman, Rufus Rodriguez, is representative of the city’s second district.
Facebook/Rufus B. Rodriguez
House conducts charter change hearing in Mindanao
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines —The House of Representatives, through its committee on constitutional amendments, takes its public consultations on Charter change (Cha-cha) to Mindanao today.

The committee holds a day-long hearing at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines gymnasium in Cagayan de Oro City. Its chairman, Rufus Rodriguez, is representative of the city’s second district.

Aside from Rodriguez, several committee members, including Reps. Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna, Ruwel Peter Gonzaga of Compostela Valley, Abdullah Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte and Alyssa Sheena Tan of Isabela, will attend the hearing.

Gary Olivar and political analyst Ramon Casiple, who are members of the Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform, have been invited as facilitators.

Members of academe, civic groups and local officials have been asked to participate in the consultations.

The Cagayan de Oro hearing is the first forum the Rodriguez committee is holding outside Metro Manila. It has held several consultations with stakeholders at the House complex in Batasan, Quezon City.

Several Cha-cha resolutions have been introduced in the House. The constitutional amendments grouped them into seven subjects, most of which seek to relax the Charter’s economic provisions to allow expanded and direct foreign ownership of land and businesses, and lengthening the term of office of local officials from three years to four or five years.

In the Metro Manila consultations, Rodriguez said there was a consensus in favor of relaxing economic restrictions and making the term of office of congressmen and local officials four years or five years.

It was felt that easing or removing economic restrictions could bring in more foreign investments, which translate into “more income and jobs for our people and economic development,” he said.

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has supported the proposal for a longer term for governors, mayors and other local officials. 

He said local government units lack long-term planning because of the three-year term.

Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., one of the proponents for a longer term, said a neophyte governor, mayor or congressman spends his first year “organizing and learning the ropes.”

“Serious work begins on the second year, and by the third year, the lawmaker or local official starts thinking about the next elections and begins campaigning,” he said.

Cayetano has also asked senators to be open to the Cha-cha initiatives of House members.

“If senators say we don’t want Charter change, that would be the end of it. But we are hoping senators will be open-minded to it,” he said. 

In the past, Cha-cha did not move forward because leaders of the House claimed they could do it without the participation of the Senate.

ROFUS RODRIGUEZ
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with