House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez seeks to prioritize moves to amend the 1987 constitution during the 2nd regular session of the 17th Congress.
Alvarez says this may proceed even if a proposed consultative body has yet to be created by the executive.
In December 2016 , Malacanang issued an executive order creating a 25-member committee that will conduct a “consultative review ” of the 1987 Constitution for amendments.
Alvarez however points out that the executive has been slow in appointing members to the body.
President Duterte and his allies have expressed preference for the Senate and House to convene as a constituent assembly to amend the 1987 charter and effect a shift to a federal form of government.
“gusto ko na rin umpisahan yung usapin ng pagbabago ng saligang batas.mukhang hanggang ngayon dumaan 1 year di pa lumalabas yung constitutional commission na minungkahi namin so kung doon nabara eh di ituloy na lang namin na wala yun”
Alvarez is also open to a suggestion by Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Adolf Azcuna for Congress to be the one to create the advisory body.
Azcuna said in a facebook post last June 30, “Perhaps there should be a Constituent Assembly Consultative Commission to assist Congress as a Constituent Assembly –assuming it gets to form itself into one– in drafting the proposed amendments or revisions to the Constitution. It should be the Constituent Assembly itself that should form this body because it (Congress) is the one tasked by the Constitution to propose amendments or revisions. A Presidential or executive commission, while helpful, has no official role or standing in the Constitutional process.”
asked about this, Alvarez said, “pwede po iyon pwede po gawin yun. maganda iconsider paguusapan namin ng senado yan.”
Alvarez is looking to formally begin moves to amend the charter by 2018.”baka siguro ng january 2018. sa totoo lang nag umpisa na kami ng cmte hearing sa mga probinsiyanagumpisa na ito.”
Alvarez however concedes that getting a new draft charter approved in a plebescite that will coincide with the 2019 midterm elections maybe too soon.
“ako alam kong puwedeng pasa namin yan 2018 kasi 2019 elections baka di umabot kasi kailangan natyin ng massive information drive kailangan maintidihan ng taong bayan kung ano iaapprove nila na constitution na saligang batas para pag sinubmit for referendum fully aware sila kung ano yung mga aaprubahan ng taumbayan”
Alvarez reiterated that the revisions will be so massive, it needs a massive information campaign.
“kasama lahat yan kasi dito ito amendment ng constitution. revision ito. massive overhaul lahat ng provisions siguro baka di lang maapektuhan masyado bill of rights.”