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LOOK: House tackles draft on PH federal charter

An engineer and a lawyer who are now members of the House of Representatives pitched in on Wednesday their draft for a federal charter that would replace the 1987 Constitution.

During the constitutional amendments committee hearing, ABS Rep. Eugene De Vera and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. presented to the committee a draft of the federal charter attached to Resolution of Both Houses 8, which called on the House and the Senate to take part in a constituent assembly to propose amendments to the charter.

When lawmakers grilled the two how they came up with a draft federal constitution, De Vera said the members of the House are in the best position to come up with a federal charter that would address the needs of the constituents.

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He said this is only a working draft, and the committee can either revoke or adopt it in toto, adding that the two representatives took the initiative to come up with a federal charter to address the call of President Rodrigo Duterte for a shift from unitary to a federal government.

“This is only a draft. This is just a guide. We can consider [it] in toto, we can even disregard it. It’s just a working draft. At least we have something to present as a start,” De Vera, a lawyer, said.

Gonzales said his experience as an engineer is a good background to draft a charter just like building a house based on sound engineering.

According to the draft charter, the Federal Philippines will be divided into 18 regions, where each region will be governed by a regional governor and will have a regional assembly.

Under the federal set-up, the Senate will be composed of two to six senators per region. The senators will be elected at large of each region.

The composition of the House of Representatives, divided into district and party-list representatives, will not be changed in the Federal Congress of the Federal Republic of the Philippines, De Vera said. ac

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