Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments, said they would revise the report submitted to the plenary to include the additional proposals by the executive branch.
Michael Varcas
House eyes anti-dynasty, IRA increase in proposed Cha-cha
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will include provisions against political dynasties and increasing the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) for local government units (LGUs) in the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments, said they would revise the report submitted to the plenary to include the additional proposals by the executive branch.

Rodriguez said the panel made the move after receiving the proposals of the inter-agency task force on federalism and constitutional reform led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

He said the task force proposed the inclusion of anti-turncoatism and anti-political dynasty provisions in the proposed amendments.

Another key amendment being pushed is the increased IRA of LGUs – consistent with a Supreme Court decision that expanded its coverage and included government’s collections from customs duties.

“This means all taxes including customs collected VAT and income taxes will now be used in the computation of taxes to be distributed 40 percent to the local governments,” he said. “Let’s increase the share of all LGUs through the Constitution.”

With these new proposals, Rodriguez said his panel would withdraw its report from the House plenary.

“We are going back to the drawing board and hear their proposals... This is something that we will consider because it involves the proposal of the executive department,” he told reporters.

As such, the House will not proceed with the plenary discussions on the proposed amendments.

Other amendments

Rodriguez said the task force also proposed the creation of the Regional Development Authority to replace the Regional Development Council “to establish effective regional governance mechanisms that empower both elective officials and managers and career officers of national government agencies at the regional level.”

He said the DILG had presented these proposals in 62 provinces.

Rodriguez said the task force has supported the initial proposal in their committee report to shift to a federal form of government as pushed by the consultative committee headed by retired chief justice Reynato Puno and earlier approved by President Duterte and the previous Congress.

But while the House panel proposed only nine regions and the election of senators by region, the task force is pushing for the creation 17 regions with two senators per region or a total of 34 senators.

The task force also supported the proposal for election of the president and vice president as one ticket to ensure a united leadership in the executive branch.

It likewise agreed with proposals to change the term of office of House members, local officials and senators from three years to five years with two reelections.

Thus, any of these officials can possibly sit in office for 15 consecutive years.

The panel also proposed the removal of restrictions on foreign ownership of land and businesses, including mass media, public utilities and schools.

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