To do away with the confusion on how the two houses of Congress will go about amending the Constitution, Sen. Panfilo Lacson filed a resolution to “unequivocally clarify” that both houses vote separately.
Lacson’s Senate Resolution 623 provides that voting to revise or amend certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution “will be done separately via 3/4 votes of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively.”
“My resolution when adopted will clarify unequivocally that voting to revise or amend certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution will be done separately via 3/4 votes of the respective members of the Senate and House of Representatives, each voting in plenary,” Lacson said.
He noted the House of Representatives is doing it now although still at the committee level.
Also, he pointed out the proposition would not in any way diminish the amending process to the nature of an ordinary legislation.
Under the 1987 Constitution, amendments to the Charter may be tackled by Congress via a 3/4 vote of its members. But the Charter is quiet on whether voting should be separately or joint.
Senators earlier pointed out the voting should be separate since the 24-member Senate will become irrelevant in a joint voting with the 300-member House.
Lacson said the same 3/4 votes of each of the two Houses of Congress is thus required when they finally convene as a constituent assembly to reconcile their disagreeing proposals to amend the Constitution, similar to a bicameral conference in ordinary legislation.
“The difference between my proposal in the resolution and what the House is attempting to do based on their announcements to media is that they will do it on their own without the participation of the Senate, or at the very least make the senators irrelevant in getting the 3/4 votes required under the Constitution,” he added.