Ping on unicameral parliamentary gov’t: Paano na ang check and balance system?

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Amending the Constitution to shift to a unicameral parliamentary system at this time could compromise the government’s check-and-balance system, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Saturday.

Lacson said the country’s political system may not be mature enough for a unicameral parliamentary system, where business interests could influence how government is run.

He added that with the system of political patronage still in place, a few personalities with big business interests can back their bet for Prime Minister.

“Parang hindi pa tayo mature enough sa isang unicameral parliamentary. Ang fear ko doon kasi, kaunti lang ang malaking negosyante sa ating bansa. Kapag naging unicameral parliamentary tayo at ang power ay nasa Prime Minister, baka kalabasan natin kasi patronage politics na tinatawag natin baka 1-2 malaking negosyante sila mag-control mismo sa ating parliament,” he said in an interview on DWIZ radio.

The result could be a speedier passage of laws, but at the expense of an effective checks-and-balances system.

He was referring to the checks and balances provided by a bicameral system where proposed legislation has to pass through two houses – the Senate and House of Representatives.

“Doon ako nanangamba na mawala na masyado ang check and balance. Oo nga, mabilis nga ang legislation kasi isang house lang. Pero mas mainam na yung may check and balance na although medyo mabagal yan kasi may bicam pa and lahat, pero sa akin hindi pa tayo naka-graduate sa ganoong kultura na hindi pa ganoon politically mature,” he said.