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Pimentel wants ConCom to explain economic impact of federalism proposal

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By Xave Gregorio

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel is calling on President Rodrigo Duterte’s consultative committee (ConCom) to explain the economic impact of their proposed new constitution after economic managers rejected the draft charter.

Speaking to reporters in a chance interview Friday (August 10), Pimentel said the ConCom should “share with the people their studies as to the their numbers.”

“Pati ako concerned din ako doon eh. So ang assumption kasi is they have studied the impact of their proposal, let them also present their figures, their financial analysis,” he said at the sidelines of a Cordillera Autonomous Region meeting at a hotel in Manila.

During a briefing by the Development Budget Coordination Committee at the Senate, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said he would not vote in favor of the ConCom’s proposed new constitution if it were to be put in a plebiscite now.

Dominguez has also said that federalism would be a “fiscal nightmare,” while Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said it would “wreak havoc” on the economy.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said these are “additional nails on the coffin” of the latest push to amend the Constitution.

Despite these pronouncements, Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza echoed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in saying that the Cabinet is united in pushing for federalism.

“Everybody in the Cabinet is pushing for federalism,” Dureza told reporters here.

Pimentel also clarified that Dominguez has to be in favor of federalism, as he is a member of the ruling PDP-Laban.

“He is against this draft sabi niya,“ Pimentel said. “He is a party member, he is expected to be pro-federalism.”