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ConCom begins regional public consultations on June 18

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Consultative Committee

MANILA, Philippines — Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to review the Constitution, will begin the conduct of public consultations across the country on Monday, June 18.

ConCom will visit several regions in the country to get the pulse of the public and inform them of the planned amendments to the Philippine Constitution.

ConCom’s first stop is Dumaguete City followed by Baguio City, Tacloban City, Butuan, and Legazpi City among others.

“Karapatan na magkaroon ng disenteng bahay, karapatan na magkaroon ng edukasyon at karapatan sa kalusugan. Bakit po mahalaga? 20 porsyento po. Twenty-six million Filipinos ang tinatawag ng NEDA as under the poverty line. Ibig sabihin po walang sapat na kita sa maghapon para kumain ng tatlong beses maghapon,” said …

(The right to have a decent life, the right to education,  and the right to health. Why is it important? There are 20 percent or 26 million Filipinos whom NEDA calls as, under the poverty line”, which means they do not earn enough to afford three meals a day.)

It can be recalled that among the provisions ConCom seeks to add in the Constitution are the mechanism to end political dynasty; preventing politicians from party jumping, and the proposed prohibition among politicians to solicit or accept campaign contributions from religious organizations, and foreigners and from illegal activities.

In his speech in Davao City on Saturday, June 16 in line with the Eid’l Fitr celebration, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated that once the federal government is formed, he is ready to step down from his office.

“The time for federalism has come to our country. We have to move away from the style of a unitary form of government,” said Pres. Duterte.  “If you want a new leader to handle the transitioning of this country from unitary to federal, I would be happy to step down. I will resign,” he added.

ConCom aims to submit to the president the adopted draft on July 9 ahead of his State of the Nation Address. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit PH in November

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: (Left-Right) Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and China Pres. Xi Jinping (PCOO)

 

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s expected visit to the Philippines by year-end is the latest sign of improving relations between the two countries.

Malacañang said that President Xi’s visit will take place after the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea in November.

But prior to his visit, a deal on the proposed joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea may possibly be forged.

This is after Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the creation of a group that will study the proposal.

The Palace also expects Xi to visit Davao City, the home town of President Duterte.

“He was looking forward to visiting the Philippines and I remember in China, the President even invited him not just to come to the Philippines but to come to his house and have dinner in his house in Davao,” Roque said. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Fiscal risks of federalism delays cha-cha

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Senate has maintained that deliberations on the proposed federal charter will not be rushed despite calls from the Lower House to fast track discussions.

According to Senate committee on constitutional amendments chairman Francis Pangilinan, there are several questions to be addressed in the campaign for charter change.

These include the warnings of the Duterte administration’s economic managers on the possible threats of federalism on the country’s economy.

“Hindi biro ang usapin ng charter change na dapat magkaroon na ng charter change dahil baka ang maging resulta nito ay man-made calamity, both political and economic disaster,” said Pangilinan.

At the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez cited the possible fiscal risks of implementing the proposed federal charter.

He said country’s investment-grade credit ratings of the country which allows the country to borrow money with lower interest rates “will go to hell” if the proposed shift to a federal government pushes through.

According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), a total of P120 billion is needed by the government to make the shift.

Due to the issues raised, senators urge for more serious discussions on the matter.

“Bakit hindi na lang after May 2019 na mag-ConCon para magkaroon ng separate na halalan para mabusisi ng husto ang revision ng ating Saligang Batas,” said Pangilinan.

Until now, senators have yet to decide on how to amend or revise the Constitution despite its progress in the lower chamber. — Nel Maribojoc

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Mocha Uson lambasted over ‘foul’ federalism video

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018

Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson (left) with blogger, Drew Olivar (Image grabbed from Mocha Uson official FB page)

 

MANILA, Philippines – Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson drew the public’s ire for a controversial video on federalism.

Uson and a friend, blogger Drew Olivar, were shown laughing while Olivar was singing and dancing lewdly to a song with the lyrics: “I-pepe, i-pepe, i-dede, i-dede, i-pepe-pepe-pepederalismo,” supposedly to promote the country’s shift to a federal form of government.

Senator Francis Pangilinan in a tweet said the administration should accost Uson for “disrespecting” federalism, a cause that the Duterte administration is strongly advocating.

He also called on Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to explain why he is allowing such actions under his office.

Senator Koko Pimentel said he was disappointed at  having Uson in the said campaign as he expected that authorities on the matter such as members of the Consultative Committee would spearhead the federalism drive. He suggests that Uson should keep off the federalism campaign.

“Hindi ko lubos akalain na bababuyin pala nila ang kawsa ng pederalismo. Ilayo si Mocha sa pederalismo. Magaral muna siya ng mabuti. Mag-leave muna siya.

He also slammed the Assistant Secretary for the wrongful content of the supposed campaign material.

In a script reading, Olivar mentioned countries such as the US, France and Singapore as among those under a federal form of government. Among the three, US is the only one using a federal form of government. France, however, is under a unitary semi‑presidential constitutional republic while Singapore is under a parliamentary republic.

Meanwhile, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay claimed that the government is not serious in promoting federalism in using Uson as a chief propagandist. He said that Uson’s action reflects the President’s position as she works for the President.

 

Senator Chiz Escudero said such an attempt to attract the public attention on such an important issue is an act of desperation.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, for his part, said that what Uson and her friend did could just be a joke. But reacting on the manner it is presented, Sotto said “theatrics” will definitely not work for such a serious topic as federalism. — Nel Maribojoc / Marje Pelayo

 

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