MANILA, Philippines — The Lower House of Congress has released its version of a proposed federal form of government.
Based on the said proposal, the country will be called the Federal Republic of the Philippines which will have a parliamentary form of government with the president as head of state.
The president will still have the oversight power over all agencies of the government and will remain as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
However, in the Lower House’s proposal, there will be no vice president.
The Lower House will serve as a federal assembly which will be led by the House speaker himself, while the Senate will remain and will be led by the Senate president.
The Senate and federal assembly will elect a prime minister.
The prime minister will prepare the proposed yearly funds of agencies that will be in charge of contracts and loans of the country.
He or she will also have the power to appoint and remove heads of executives offices, Cabinet members, and police officials.
Under the proposed federal form of government, the Philippines will be divided into five states.
These will be Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and Metro Manila. Each will have three state senators.
Party-list representatives will remain to represent marginalized sectors.
The president, prime minister, senators, members of the federal assembly, local government official and state officials will be in power for five years and may seek re-election.
The proposal also includes having a two-party system. The first election under the proposed new constitution will be held in may of 2022.
Aside from the office of the president, the lawmakers also propose the abolition of the Office of the Ombudsman and Judicial Bar Council (JBC).
The House of Representatives’ version also limits the freedom of the press, speech, and expression.
Meanwhile, when asked if President Duterte could still run for president under the new proposal, the committee on constitutional amendments chairman Rep. Mercado said,“Yes, he still can because he’s still in the first term. It can be as long as it’s in accordance with the Constitution.” — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue