FILIPINOS must be electrified with the thought of being presented a new constitution and a new form of government – federal in place of the present presidential – sooner than later.
On Monday, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III revealed that he would file this week a resolution asking the Senate and the House of Representatives to convene as a constitutional assembly or con-ass.
Pimentel’s timetable calls for con-ass to finish a new charter draft this year for ratification by Filipinos via a plebiscite to be held simultaneously with the 2019 mid-term elections.
Alvarez’s formula is even faster through a constitutional commission (con-con) composed of legal experts submitting a new charter for adoption and tweaking of the Senate and House sitting as a con-ass.
For Alvarez, Filipinos could be voting on the new charter as early as May this year – yep, this year.
Whichever way, game-changing change hangs thick in the air as promised by President Rodrigo Duterte and as affirmed by the Filipino electorate when they elected him into office via landslide in 2016.
The shift to a federal government will ensure a much more even and fair development for all regions of the country after centuries of Mindanao and the Visayas being marginalized by a Manila-centrist government dating back to the Spanish conquistadores.
While they have differing leadership styles, Senate President Pimentel and Speaker Alvarez, as well as President Duterte, have shown they have a singular, unified vision.
At the end of the day, it matters little how the Senate and the House will arrive at supplanting a flawed and outdated 1987 Constitution that has perpetuated poverty and restlessness in the countryside.
How it is done is not as important as getting it done ASAP.