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House federalism proposal divides PH into 5 states

House federalism proposal divides PH into 5 states

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The proposed Federal Republic of the Philippines will have five states, according to a draft of the new Constitution being prepared by the House committee on constitutional amendments.

The states are Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Metro Manila and Bangsamoro, as per the proposal of one of the four subcommittees tasked by the mother committee to prepare a working draft of the new charter.

Under the proposal, each state shall have exclusive power over state and local elections, public transportation and ; and state socio-economic planning, finance, agriculture and fisheries, industrial development, mining, police and law and order, public works, and marriage, among others.

The bill also changes the legislative system to a bicameral parliament to be composed of a 300-member federal assembly and a 15-member senate, with each state electing three senators.

Eighty percent of the members of the federal assembly shall be elected by plurality votes with each legislative district having one seat in the parliament.

The remaining 20 percent of the members of the assembly shall come from federal sectoral parties or organizations which shall be elected at large.

Committee chairman Roger Mercado explained that the proposed charter amendments are the outputs from its sub-committees and are subject to further deliberation and approval by the House of Representatives and the Senate in a Constituent Assembly.

“The finalization and approval of these (proposed amendments) will be in our Constitutional Assembly, when we (House of Representatives and Senate) will be jointly convened; and the final approval in a plebiscite, hopefully, to be held in May this year,” Mercado said.