Bam: Cha-cha must examine other important aspects of 1987 Constitution

CEBU CITY — Sen. Bam Aquino prefers constitutional convention (con-con) as means to amend the 1987 Constitution, adding the action must be a “genuine process” where other important provisions of the Charter will be thoroughly examined, in addition to federalism.

 “Sang-ayon po ako sa constitutional convention. I’m open to federalism pero kapag binukas kasi natin ang Constitution, hindi lang po iyan puwede for one aspect. Lahat po ng aspeto, kailangang suriin,” said Sen. Bam during a radio interview here.

 He added, “Once we open up the con-con, sana po it goes through a genuine process of assessment kasi 30 years na rin po ang ating Constitution. How do we update our Constitution? Ano ang pinaka-akma na sistema at istruktura sa ating bansa in the 21st century?”

 Sen. Bam believes the Charter’s economic provisions, term limits to local officials, among others already mentioned, need to be revisited, reviewed and updated to be attuned to the present situation.

 “I think ang three-year term ng local officials natin, masyado pong maikli. As we know, most of the reforms na kailangan ng bansa, takes six to ten years,” he explained.

 In the 16th Congress, Sen. Bam said congressmen also tried to introduce amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution but it didn’t take off.

 A constitutional convention is a process where the people elect delegates, who will study proposals to amend or revise the Charter. The amendments drafted by the delegates must be approved by the people in a referendum.

 While he is open to a shift to federal form of government, Sen. Bam said some local officials have recently expressed apprehensions over the move.

 “Pagdating po sa federalism, bukas po tayo diyan pero iyong ibang governors na nakausap ko, marami rin silang tanong,” said Sen. Bam.

 “Another basic question is, how much will it cost? Will this mean new taxes? Will it mean new bureaucracy kasi kung magkaka-regional governments tayo, parang may next layer na naman tayo ng burukrasya,” he added.

 However, Sen. Bam trusts that the upcoming House and Senate leadership will allow the process to move properly.

 “Itong lahat po, pag-uusapan, hihimayin, dadaan sa proseso ng pag-uusap. I’m hoping lang na di po iyan magtagal ng 3 or 4 years. Sana po maybe 1 year o 1 year and a half, tapos na po iyong proseso,” said Sen. Bam.

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