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House panel says draft federal Constitution now ready

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By Charissa Luci-Atienza

The chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments said today the Lower Chamber’s proposed Federal Constitution is now ready.

Workers at the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite, unfurl a Philippine flag Friday in preparation for the National Day of the Flag on May 28. On that day in 1898, the Philippine tricolor was first displayed in public after the Battle of Alapan in Imus, Cavite. (Ali Vicoy)

(Ali Vicoy/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado disclosed that the Lower Chamber is done drafting its proposed Charter as early as February.

“We already have the draft Charter last February, ” he said in an interview.

“It is more or less similar with the US Constitution. There is still Senate and Congress, still bicameral structure. There is regional assembly, regional governor. Meron pa ring cities and barangay, ” he noted.

Mercado assured that they are committed to “produce a charter that is much better than the 1987 Constitution.”

“We want to prove to future generations of Filipinos and to the world that it was this 17th Congress and the Duterte presidency that had the political will to build upon the successes and strengths of Philippine democracy,” he said.

He counted on the 25-man consultative panel on charter change to finish its work and submit its recommendations by the first week of July.

“Efforts to amend the Constitution remain. We’re giving them (consultative commission) time until the first week of July to finish their work and after that, we will make our recommendation,” he said.

He expressed hope that President Duterte will specifically lay down his plan on Cha-cha during his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“Hopefully, the President will include that in his SONA, kung ano ang plano nya sa Charter change and we will act on that, ” Mercado said.

The consultative committee, headed by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno is eyeing to submit their recommendations to President Duterte before his SONA next month.

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