The committee believes that the Article on People’s Initiative enables the exercise of direct democracy in law-making.
Constitutional Committee to Review the 1987 Constitution, represented by Atty. Roan Libarios and Mr. Ding Generoso, explained the proposal of the Subcommittee on Approved Revisions on the Article on People’s Initiative on Thursday, June 7. The committee believes that the Article on People’s Initiative enables the exercise of direct democracy in law-making.
Self-Executory People’s Initiative
The proposed article on People’s Initiative in the Federal Constitution will be self-executory, unlike the Republic Act 6735 in the 1987 Constitution. Proposals to amend or enact a law made by the proponents will not need a legislator’s recommendation to congress. No legislator or government official can repeal the proposal if it reaches enough votes in the plebiscite.
In order to revise the Constitution, at least 30% of the voter turnout in the preceding national elections and at least 10% in every Federated Region.; Amending the Constitution would require at least 12% of the voter turnout and at least 3% in every Federated Region; To enact, amend, or repeal a Federal Law, at least 10% of the voter turnout in the preceding elections is required and at least 3% in every Federated Region.
The Con-Com also provided procedures for the People’s Initiative. Proponents can seek the help of the Solicitor General or the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for free when drafting their petition. Once they gather the required signatures for their petition, they can submit their draft proposal to the COMELEC for plebiscite.
The COMELEC refers the proposal to the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) to check if it contains constitutional infirmities. If FCC clears the petition, the COMELEC certifies arranges a plebiscite and conducts massive information drive on the proposal during the plebiscite campaign period.
Con-Com to submit draft before SONA
The Con-Com is still on track to submit the adopted draft in time for SONA. They are currently finalizing three remaining Articles (Federated Regions, Transitory Provisions, and Amendments). The estimated schedule of voting for the entire draft constitution will be on June 14 in one en banc session.
After the committee has voted on the entire draft constitution, the Regional Presentation and Consultation will do rounds around the country for public consultations:
June 17-19: Dumaguete City
June 21-23: Butuan City and Legaspi City
June 25-27: Baguio City and Tacloban City
Even though the committee has submitted their proposal to the President by July 9, they will still continue their Regional Presentation and Consultation in partnership with Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), until August 18, 2018 as cited in the Executive Order of President Duterte.
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