Lawmaker seeks longer term for House members, but shorter term in Senate

Mara Cepeda
Lawmaker seeks longer term for House members, but shorter term in Senate
Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez also proposes to extend the current 3-year term of local government officials to 4 years

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker is seeking a one-year term extension for members of the House of Representatives  and local government officials, but also proposes to shorten a senator’s term to just 4 years.

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez has filed House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) No. 1, which aims to amend certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

Among the highlights of HCR 1 is its proposal for House members and elective local officials – except in the barangay level – to have their term extended from the current 3 years to 4 years. These officials would then be allowed to serve 3 consecutive terms.

The same resolution proposes to reduce the term of senators to just 4 years, but they would be allowed to serve 3 consecutive terms. This means if a senator successfully wins both reelections, he or she would still be able to serve a total of 12 years. 

Currently, Senate members have a 6-year term with only one reelection allowed.  

“Recent events show that it is imperative that reforms be introduced in the present Constitution for it to be responsive to the exigencies of the times, including the need to provide long-term solution to the decades-old conflict in Mindanao and to spur economic regional development in the countryside, and provide impetus to much needed socioeconomic and political reforms,” Rodriguez said  in his explanatory note for HCR 1. 

Rodriguez’s resolution is consistent with an earlier proposal of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who said a longer term for lawmakers and local government officials would make them more “productive.” The new Speaker had also proposed to cut senators’ terms by half.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, however, already dismissed Cayetano’s proposal to reduce the term of a senator, saying “no single person can do that.” 

Read the full copy of HCR 1 below: 

– Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.