Palace confident senators can be convinced on merits of Charter change
Malacanang expressed confidence on Friday that senators could still be convinced on the merits of changing the 1987 Constitution to pave the way for a federal form of government.
This as the government would intensify the campaign on federalism at least until December to convince the Filipinos to support it.
"Well, I think there are ways and means of convincing the Senate. We prefer to deal with the merits of the proposal to amend the Constitution towards a federal form of government and we will pursue that course of action. I think there is no alternative to convincing them by showing them the merits of the proposed amendments," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing in Bukidnon.
"And we are confident that after giving them thorough picture of why we think the charter change is meritorious that many of the senators will agree with the President on this matter," he added.
Senator Panfilo Lacson has said Charter change is just waiting to be cremated in the Senate due to lack of support among the senators.
He has said if there would be changes in the 1987 Constitution, they should be on economic provisions only.
The Duterte administration has been pushing for a Charter change, including the shift of government from unitary to federal.
President Rodrigo Duterte even created a 22-man consultative committee that prepared a draft of the new constitution.
But in a recent survey, it showed that majority of the Filipinos did not want federalism.
This prompted the government to create an interagency task force that would conduct a massive information campaign on federalism.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson who claimed to have over 5 million followers on her Facebook page was tapped to help in the information campaign.
Uson had a brainstorming on Friday with ConCom spokesman Ding Generoso and other PCOO and Department of Interior and Local Government officials on how to go about with the information dissemination.
In an interview in Malacanang after the meeting, Generoso said that Uson was tapped because of her huge followers in the social media.
He said the massive information campaign would be rolled out in a week or two as they were still finalizing the details of the plan.
"Actually, we just have to integrate the ideas of the DILG, the PCOO and the ConCom. We'll just integrate these into one cohesive plan and then we'll be ready to roll out," he said.
He said they were eyeing to have the intensified information campaign in three to six months or until December.
"So the next survey is sometime in September or October, and then there will be another in November. That's our target period of intensive information campaign," Generoso said.
On Lacson's statement that Charter change is just waiting to be cremated in the Senate, he appealed to the senators not to immediately junk the proposal.
"Do not kill an idea simply because you do not like the one proposing it or the one proposing it is not as handsome as many of you. Let us not shoot the messenger. Let us debate on the idea. Let us give the idea a chance," he said.
"Let us not shoot it down at once, because one day, you may find it in your heart when you search deep inside your soul that really if we love this country, this is something that we must all work for together regardless of color," he added. Celerina Monte/DMS