- Philippines will be under Federalism by 2022 according to timetable of Duterte administration
- Change in the form of the government will be for the economy and not for politics
- An election for the Constitutional Convention will be held by the middle of 2017 once the bill is approved by Senate and Congress
Incoming Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said that by 2022, the Philippines will be under Federalism, according to the timetable of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
Pimentel himself will file the bill at the senate, he said, on his first day as Senate President on June 30, 2016. The Senator from Mindanao eliminated fears about the extension of Duterte’s presidential term once the Philippines shift to Federalism and stressed that if there will be a change in the form of government, it will be mainly on the economic side and not on the political.
“Nakatingin lang ako sa economic side of it, not the political,” he said in an interview. Pimentel stated that the government has to educate the people about the primary purpose of the changing Constitution, which is for the change to federal system. He insisted that people should not express fear of constitutional change because it will be an opportunity to improve the good features of the 1986 Constitution.
The Duterte administration’s plan for the shift in the form of the government, as revealed by Pimentel, is passing a Constitutional Convention (Con-con) for the purpose of shifting the government’s democratic system to Federalism. An election for ConCon will be held by the middle of 2017 once the bill will be approved by both Houses of Congress, and this will also be the start of the constitutional convention. The Senate and House of Representatives will set the deadline for the Con-Con delegates to finish the new draft Constitution until December 2018.
After all the process, a plebiscite will take place by May 2019. An election will be held where the public will get to choose whether they would accept or reject the new Constitution through election.
Although the federalism issue only emerged when the election season draws near, Duterte has been pushing for the change in the form of the government as he believes that federalism is one of the solutions to the problems that Mindanao is facing.