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Nadi-distract kasi! Deputy minority leader seeks term extension for congressmen, local officials

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by Xave Gregorio

The terms of congressmen and local officials may need to be extended from three years to four years, as they tend to get distracted by their bids to get re-elected, a lawmaker said on Monday (January 8).

Deputy Minority Leader and ABS Party-list Rep. Eugene de Vera said congressmen like him and local officials get too busy with the preparations for their re-election campaign by the second year of their three-year term.

“First year, okay, we’re filing bills. Second [year], at the middle of our term we’re now thinking of re-election already. That’s the [reality] here. That’s what’s happening right now eh, that’s the reality. So, we cannot do anything,” De Vera said in a press briefing at Batasang Pambansa.

The 1987 Constitution mandates that congressmen and local officials would only serve three-year terms. They may only be re-elected three consecutive times.

However, De Vera, who is one of the authors of a proposal to revise the Constitution, said he is willing to insert a provision in his proposal which grants congressmen and local officials four-year terms.

“Three years is so short, and probably four years would be fair,” he said.

He added that he is also willing to lift the term limits of congressmen and local officials because it allows the people to decide if a politiko gets to sit for the nth time.

Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Dong Gonzales, who also authored the proposal to revise the Constitution, also supports the lifting of term limits.

“Palagay ko, kung maganda naman ang ginagawa ng isang public servant, pwede mag-serve,” Gonzales said.