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MANILA, Philippines - Lawmakers see no problem with opening discussions on Charter change but are not optimistic the 15th Congress will be able to do much about the matter, with one year remaining until it adjourns.
Besides, the issue was not even mentioned in President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address on Monday, meaning it is “not in his radar” at the moment, they said.
“Apparently its not in the agenda, it’s not in his radar as of the moment, but Congress might just want to discuss, as mentioned, the (Constitution’s) economic provisions, which should have been tackled a long time ago,” An Waray party-list Representative Florencio Noel, an administration ally, said.
Deputy Speaker and Quezon Representative Lorenzo Tanada III said there is not enough time to discuss amending the Constitution in both chambers of Congress.
“The President is being practical, there’s not too much time based on the calendar, so I don’t think Charter change may be considered. But again the presidential spokesperson said the President is willing to listen to both the Speaker and the Senate President,” Tanada said.
Paranaque Representative Roilo Golez said moves to amend the Constitution are an initiative of Congress and should be discussed by both chambers.
But Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said he was “happy” Charter change was not mentioned in the SONA, “because if there’s any measure that should be in the agenda of Congress, it should be the Reproductive Health bill and the other measures that the President endorsed.”