Experts weigh in on the shift to a federal Philippines

The first Senate hearing on the shift to a federal Philippines happened last January 17.

The Senate Committee on Constitutional amendments, headed by Senator Francis Pangilinan, continued the discussions on the proposals to amend the constitution and the shift into federalism.

Part of the agenda was to answer the questions on the need to amend/revise the Constitution and through which mode (Con-Ass or Con-Con) it should be done. Several resource speakers were invited, including past Chief Justices Hilario Davide and Renato Puno and former Senator Nene Pimentel. Professor Ed Garcia and other past members of the Constitutional Commission in 1986 were also invited. Members of the academe were summoned as well. Although there were disagreements and doubts on the shift to federalism and whether or not the Constitution should be revised, there was a consensus that changes should be decided on through Con-Con. The Senate stood firmly on voting separately from the House if changes should be decided on through Con-Ass.