charter change

House panel votes yes to charter change via constitutional convention

Dwight de Leon

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

House panel votes yes to charter change via constitutional convention

'CHA-CHA'. House constitutional amendments committee chairman Rufus Rodriguez presides over a public consultation on charter change in February 2022.

House press and public affairs bureau

(1st UPDATE) Committee chairman Rufus Rodriguez clarifies that the resolution approved is a 'general statement' of the panel, and that lawmakers will still have to pass an accompanying bill on charter change

MANILA, Philippines – The House constitutional amendments committee approved a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to either amend or revise the 1987 Constitution.

Seventeen lawmakers on Monday, February 20, voted in favor of the unnumbered Resolution of Both Houses (RBH), while three others – all from the left-wing Makabayan bloc – rejected the document. Another lawmaker abstained from the vote.

“Be it resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives with a vote of two-thirds of all its members, voting separately, to call a constitutional convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to, or revision of, the 1987 Constitution, with the election of delegates to be held on October 30, 2023, simultaneous with the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections,” the resolution read.

Committee chairman Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro clarified that the resolution approved is a “general statement” of the panel.

“The approval of this resolution is a general statement of our committee, and there will be an accompanying bill that will be discussed after this,” he said.

House panel votes yes to charter change via constitutional convention

The panel was supposed to vote on the accompanying bill right after the resolution was approved, but House senior deputy minority leader Paul Daza requested that lawmakers be given more time to study the measure.

The bill, as amended, seeks to adopt a “hybrid” constitutional convention, as proposed earlier on Monday by former Supreme Court chief justice Reynato Puno.

Under the hybrid model, the convention will be a combination of delegates elected by the voting public, and experts appointed and strictly vetted by the executive and legislative branches of government.

Election exercises in connection with charter change could cost the government as high as P28 billion, the National Economic and Development Authority told lawmakers, should government choose to conduct a national election and a plebiscite separate from the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections. The cost could be pulled down to P231 million if the polls will be conducted simultaneously with the BSKE.

How lawmakers voted

The lawmakers who voted yes to the resolution are:

  • Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales (Pampanga 3rd District)
  • Deputy Speaker Kristine Singson-Meehan (Ilocos Sur 2nd District)
  • Deputy Speaker Roberto Puno (Antipolo 1st District)
  • Deputy Majority Leader Julienne Baronda (Iloilo City)
  • Deputy Majority Leader Alfred delos Santos (Ang Probinsiyano)
  • Deputy Majority Leader Janette Garin (Iloilo 1st District)
  • Deputy Majority Leader Josephine Lacson-Noel (Malabon)
  • Deputy Majority Leader Franz Pumaren (Quezon City 3rd District)
  • Deputy Majority Leader Jose Teves Jr. (TGP)
  • Constitutional amendments committee vice chair Ma. Victoria Co-Pilar (Quezon City 6th District)
  • Constitutional amendments committee vice chair Lorenz Defensor (Iloilo 3rd District)
  • Constitutional amendments committee vice chair Divina Grace Yu (Zamboanga del Sur 1st District)
  • Assistant Minority Leader JC Abalos (4Ps)
  • Elpidio Barzaga Jr. (Cavite 4th District)
  • Raul Bongalon (Ako Bicol)
  • Margarita Nograles (PBA)
  • Florida Robes (San Jose del Monte)

Deputy Minority Leader France Castro of ACT Teachers, Assistant Minority Leader Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, and Kabataan Representative Raoul Manuel, meanwhile, were the only “no” votes.

“Current and urgent problems that we are facing – escalating prices, low wages, massive hunger, joblessness, landlessness – do not stem from the 1987 Constitution,” Brosas said.

Daza, meanwhile, abstained from the vote, saying that while he favors charter change, he believes that a constituent assembly route would be more cost-efficient than a constitutional convention. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.