Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ. 3 rd District) Thursday filed a resolution calling on the House of Representatives and the Senate to convene as a Constituent Assembly to introduce revisions or amendments to the 1987 constitution amid the clamor for a federal form of government.
A counterpart to the resolution of Benitez has yet to be filed in the Senate.
The Constitution is the fundamental law of the land and should be responsive to the changing needs of the country and its citizens, Benitez said in the resolution he filed.
Benitez also pointed out that there is clamor to change the country's system of government by shifting to a federal form of government, for more autonomy and empowerment of the local government, less restrictive economic policies and other proposals that necessitate changes in the present Constitution.
The Constitution provides for three modes of proposing amendments - Constituent Assembly, Constitutional Convention and People's Initiative, he said.
Benitez resolution proposes convening the Philippine Congress into a Constituent Assembly to introduce and adopt revisions or amendments to the Constitution as it is the most expeditious and less costly mode of Charter change, he said.
Congress will create a “Council of Elders” composed of not less than 10 members coming from different sectors, including but not limited to religious, non-government organizations, urban poor, business, academe, former justices, to serve as council of experts to provide inputs to Congress in drafting the revisions to the Constitution, he added.
The revisions and/ or amendments should be completed by Congress within one year after the Constituent assembly is convened, he said.
He said the House of Representatives and the Senate will have to concur, upon a vote of three fourths of all the members of both Houses voting separately, to convene the Philippine Congress into a Constituent Assembly to introduce amendments to the 1987 Constitution.*CPG
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