This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
MANILA, Philippines – Public support for amending the 1987 Constitution has notably increased, according to a survey conducted by Pulse Asia from March 15 to 19, and released to the media on Tuesday, April 4.
The pollster, which surveyed 1,200 respondents nationwide, said 41% of Filipinos were in favor of charter change, an increase of 10-percentage points from a similar survey conducted in September 2022.
Still, 45% of survey participants preferred to delay charter change, but that number was down by 11-percentage points from last year.
Of the 45%, 14% of respondents were open to amending the 1987 Constitution sometime in the future; of the 14%, 8% were open to the amending under the Marcos administration, while 6% said it should be after the current administration.
Around 31% of Filipinos said “no” to charter change now or any other time, a decrease of 7 points from 38% in September.
The same survey said Filipinos were split on the proposed creation of a constitutional convention to introduce changes to the charter. Some 34% agreed to it, another 30% did not, while 28% were undecided.
Opposition to proposed changes
More than half of the respondents, however, were opposed to most of the proposed changes listed in the survey, such as term extension for elective officials, and removing caps on foreign ownership of companies.
Two suggested reforms on the list had less opposition compared to others: allowing foreign individuals and companies to practice their professions in the Philippines (40% in favor, 45% against), and shifting to a federal system of government (38% in favor, 42% against).
In the same survey, 79% of respondents also admitted they had little to no knowledge of the present Constitution, up by 6-percentage points from September. Around 21% said they had sufficient to great deal of knowledge of the existing charter.
ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, one of the few House lawmakers against charter change, said the survey shows that the proposal remains a divisive issue.
“Most Filipinos are still against charter change but we must give an extra effort in exposing the ill effects of this move both economically and politically so that more Filipinos would see Cha-Cha for what it is: a ploy for politicians to have longer term limits and for foreigners to have more control in our country,” the House deputy minority leader said in a statement.
The House of Representatives in March already passed a bill detailing how to proceed with charter change through a constitutional convention.
Under the proposal, one delegate will be elected per legislative district, and 20% of the total coming from sectoral representatives jointly appointed by the Senate president and House Speaker. The election would be held on October 30 this year, coinciding with the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections.
But getting the Senate to approve the measure passed by the House appears to be an impossible ordeal.
Senate constitutional amendments panel chairman Robin Padilla, for one, favors a less costly constituent assembly – one which only convenes both chambers of Congress – instead of a constitutional convention.
But even his committee report garnered only his signature. His failure to get the backing of at least eight other colleagues in the upper chamber means the proposal may not be elevated to the plenary. – Rappler.com