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Jun 28th
Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. Senators Will No Longer Be Elected on Nationwide Basis Under Federal System
Senators Will No Longer Be Elected on Nationwide Basis Under Federal System PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Monday, 28 April 2008 03:01

Members of the Senate will no longer be elected on a nationwide basis under a federal system of government proposed by Minority Leader Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. and backed by 11 other senators.

Instead, the senators will be elected by federal states while the members of the House of Representatives will continue to be elected by legislative districts, according to Joint Senate Resolution Number 10 filed by Senator Pimentel last week.

The resolution calls for the election of six senators in each of the 11 component federal states that are envisioned to be created. In addition, nine other senators will be elected to represent the Filipinos overseas. This will considerably expand the membership of the Senate which at present is limited to 24 members.

Editor’s Note: To read the first two articles in this series

about the Pimentel initiative on a Federal system, please go to:

Presidential Form to Be Retained under Federalism Proposal

Senator Pimentel Introduces Resolution on Federalism

On the other hand, the members of the House of Representatives will be elected by district but limited to a maximum of 350.

The resolution provides that the senators will serve for a term of six years and congressmen, three years. The senators will be limited to two terms and congressmen, four terms.

Senator Pimentel said the move to do away with the election of senators on a nationwide basis will considerably lessen the cost of elections and keep them from succumbing to dishonest acts to recover campaign expenses to pay off poll-related debts.By electing senators by federal states, Mr. Pimentel said the chronic problem of lack of representation or under-representation of certain regions of the country will be effectively solved.

“This will remove a major cause of social discontent and national disunity. With this scheme, no federal state will complain that they have no voice in the Senate,” the senator from Mindanao said.

Senate Resolution No. 10 proposes the convening of Congress into a Constituent Assembly to initiate amendments to the Constitution. Senator Pimentel said he chose this mode of amendment to hasten Charter Change.

Senator Pimentel said he drafted the resolution in response to the request of his fellow senators, several congressmen and local government officials who believe in the merits and advantages of the federal system.

The shift from the existing highly centralized unitary system to a federal system of government has been a major advocacy of Mr. Pimentel and his political party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), since it was formed in 1982.

Mr. Pimentel said he is glad that Speaker Prospero Nograles, who is from Mindanao, has declared his support for the federalism proposal while the former speaker, Pangasinan Rep. Jose de Venecia, Jr. has announced that he will file a counterpart bill with the House of Representatives.Considering that a majority of senators have signed Senate Resolution No. 10, Mr. Pimentel said he is confident that the Senate will start soon as possible the deliberations on the proposed federal system.

Aside from Mr. Pimentel, other senators who have signed the resolution are Edgardo Angara, Rodolfo Biazon, Pia Cayetano, Juan Ponce Enrile, Francis Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Ramon Revilla, Jr. and Senate President Manuel Villar.

Senator Pimentel said he expects more senators to sign the resolution as co-authors. # # #

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Last Updated on Monday, 28 April 2008 03:13

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