Duterte’s ConCom to submit federal charter on July 9

Public discussions to start by June 17

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President Rodrigo Duterte with the appointed members of the Consultative Committee tasked to study possible revisions of the 1987 Constitution and draft a new federal charter. (Presidential Photo)

The 22-member Consultative Committee (Concom) will submit the draft of a new federal charter to President Rodrigo Duterte on July 9, two weeks before he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Con-com is on track to submit the adopted draft on July 9 in time for the Sona,”Concom spokesman Conrado I. Generoso said, adding the consultative body is still finalizing three remaining articles- “Federated Regions,” “Transitory Provisions” and “Amendments.”

Generoso said the articles of the draft federal constitution “were now being refined, edited for style, and proofread for consistency.”

The committee, handpicked by the President, will then vote en banc on the complete draft of the new constitution next week, tentatively on June 14.

With only a month left before its submission, the committee will also conduct two waves of regional presentation and public consultation which will start on June 17 to 19 in Dumaguete City led by Con-com member Arthur N. Aguilar.

Meanwhile, Con-com members Roan Libarios and Susan Ubalde-Ordinario will lead the simultaneous consultation in Butuan City on June 21 to 23 for Caraga Region and Legaspi City for Region 5.

The committee is set to go to Baguio City in Cordillera Administrative Region and in Tacloban City in Region 8 led by Dr. Virgilio Bautista and former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura, respectively, on June 25 to 27.

The schedule of the second wave of the consultation is still being finalized, but it is set to happen in July and August.

He said the rounds of public consultation and regional presentations will continue even after the adopted draft charter is submitted to the President.

Generoso said both the public and private stakeholders will be presented with the concrete proposals and designed of the eyed federal system, including the functions and its benefits.

All the feedbacks of the participants from the consultation will be submitted to the President for review.

The consultation will be conducted by the ConCom with Presidential Management Staff Office of the Regional Concerns, representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG,) the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO,) and the Philippine Information Agency.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No.10 last December 7, 2016, which created the committee tasked to deliberate possible revisions to the 1987 Constitution and draft new articles under a federal Charter

The groups started convening mid-February and voted to proposed a presidential-federal form of government under a federalized Philippines.

President Duterte, including his allies in Congress, has been pushing for Charter Change in order to allow for a shift to a federal form of government.

Duterte argued, even during the campaign, that federal form of government would result in better equity in the distribution of wealth and political power. (CRC/with reports from PIA, Rappler, Businessworld, and UNTV)

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