Palace seeks inputs from public regarding federalism
Malacanang urged on Thursday the public to give their inputs on the proposed changes in the constitution that will pave the way for the shift of government from unitary to federal.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has given the guidance that the government would receive feedback on the draft new constitution the 22-man Consultative Committee submitted to the Palace.
"The Federal Constitution submitted by the 22-member Consultative Committee to review the 1987 Constitution is a very good draft; the government however and the ConCom are considering the comments of all stakeholders and are open to improving the draft federal charter. The President will consider the comments of the people and can improve the draft accordingly before officially transmitting it to Congress," he said.
Roque said there was no timeline until when Malacanang would collect the feedback and when the draft would formally be forwarded to Congress for its action.
Roque admitted that Duterte decided to get the public's feedback due to concerns raised by at least three members of the Cabinet.
"Well you know to be candid about it, it started when his own members of the Cabinet expressed apprehensions over the economic aspect of the proposed draft. So, that’s what prompted the President to be open to suggestions and criticisms on the proposed revisions as submitted by the Consultative Commission," he said.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III have raised concerns on the possible negative effect of federal government on the economy.
Recently, the government's campaign on federalism also created a fuss after Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson and blogger Drew Olivar came out with the "malicious" "pepe-dede-ralismo" jingle.
Uson was supposed to be tapped in disseminating information about federalism.
But because of what happened, which was also highly criticized by some senators, asked if Uson would still participate in the information drive on federalism, Roque said, "she has not been attending the interagency meetings on the dissemination."
But he said those who would participate in the information campaign would undergo formal training.
"So if she attends, I suppose she can be one of the disseminators. But what is indispensable is, we have standardized not only the materials to be used in the dissemination activity, but we have also a standard training program for the trainors," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS