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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Good governance in charter change

By Julius I. Valmores

General Santos City (1 December) -- The recent consultations of Con-Com on charter change has vindicated its members on the issue of competency and possible usurpation of powers with the Congress.

Con-Com as an independent body has proven its worth especially to its detractors that it is efficient, effective, and has a distinctive role different from that of Congress.

The presidential consultative commission was, of course, created to propose amendments to the 1987 Constitution, after a nationwide public consultation shall have been undertaken.

In a way, its humble accomplishment has also vindicated Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo proving once again to her foes that her choice of people to compose Con-Com was impeccable.

But of course, the President's political opponents would not stop just like that, especially now that PGMA's effort to push the economy forward is breaking fresh ground everyday.

Con-Com, under the proposed parliamentary-federal set up, has recommended for the abolition of the political dynasty, that is, no elected public official "may be succeeded by a relative up to the fourth degree of consanguinity."

To those politicians with no hidden agenda, the proposal may sound well and good. But definitely not to unscrupulous politicians who wish to use government as spawning ground for evil deeds in the guise of public service.

But whatever negative criticisms the "evil" may utter, the month-long regional consultations of Con-Com in the seven key cities of Mindanao and Visayas, has ended with flying colors that cannot be undermined.

Why? It was because the consultations reaped favorable responses from the 1,500 regional leaders and representatives both in the Visayas and Mindanao.

In fact, Dr. Jose Abueva, Con-Com chairman, noted that "majority of Filipinos in Mindanao and the Visayas favor the proposed shift to parliamentary form of government from the present presidential system."

That is not quite a surprise? Why not? When Filipinos in the south loathe the feeling of being "overly dependent" on the national government politicians, whey they actually should not and when they could very well steer their own development using their political power, authority, and influence!

With the current system of government, that dream remains elusive and far-fetched. But with the proposed shift to parliamentary system, that dream will definitely come true. The Mindanaons would be able to exercise more political power and authority over their respective jurisdiction.

Imperial Manila should know that people in the Visayas and Mindanao have long been considering the country's worsening economic and political problems and the big politicking here and there a big turn off.

The people particularly in Mindanao believe that charter change can bring about good governance while upholding the true essence of people's participation and empowerment through decentralization. (PIA-SarGen) [top]

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