President Rodrigo Duterte’s Consultative Committee (Con-com) wants the direct participation of Filipinos in proposing and enacting laws under a federal form of government.
Con-com spokesperson Ding Generoso said a new article was drafted by the subcommittee on the structure of the federal government on the People’s Initiative, Plebiscite and Referendum.
Under the article, Generoso said the federal Constitution would give “self-executory provisions” that would grant Filipinos direct power to enact, amend or repeal a federal law.
Likewise, Filipinos who have no idea how to draft a proposal and petition for a new law may seek assistance from the Office of the Solicitor General or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for free, he added.
While People’s Initiative was already provided under the prevailing 1987 Constitution, the Con-com official said that it was not self-executory since Congress has to set a system first.
Under the proposed People’s Initiative, Filipinos would first draft a new law and secure a number of required signatures before the proposal would be forwarded to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The Comelec would then refer the petition and proposal to the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) to certify that the petition would be in line with the federal Constitution.
Once the proposed law is certified, the Comelec would conduct an information drive during campaign period to prepare for the referendum. Only then would the proposed law be enacted if majority of voters approve it.
The new articles would be subject to a vote by the Con-com en banc before they would be finalized and included in the proposed draft Charter. /jpv
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