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One to sawa na! Arroyo’s draft Charter lifts term limit for lawmakers

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House committee on constitutional amendments has endorsed to the plenary its version of a federal Constitution which includes a provision lifting the term limits for members of Congress.

In the committee report dated October 2, 2018, the congressional panel approved Resolution of both Houses No. 15 authored by former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo which seeks amend the 1987 Constitution through a constituent assembly.

Under Arroyo’s proposed charter, there will be no term limits for members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and each term will last for four years. The said system is similar to the one indicated in the 1935 Philippine Constitution.

Both aspirants for the two chambers of Congress should be at least a college degree holder, with the exemption of previous holders of the posts as well as those nominated by winning party-list organizations.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of 300 members, wherein, 80 percent of it will come from legislative districts while the remaining 20 percent will be allotted for the party-list groups.

The current 24-man set-up of the Senate will remain as well and will be elected on a nationwide scheme.

Meanwhile, the President and the vice president will be elected as tandem with a four-year term. The said officials may also seek another term via re-election. The minimum age requirement for the the positions have been raised from 40 to 45 years old

The draft federal constitution also imposes strict penalties on party-switching and will revert back the country’s political party system into a two-party set-up.

The draft charter of Arroyo divides the country into 5 federal states, consisting of Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, the Bangsamoro Region, and the National Capital Region (NCR).