Press Releases

Statement on efforts to initiate Charter Change

January 25th, 2024

Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda

The need for urgent revisions in the Constitution, particularly on the economic front, has long been the consensus in the House of Representatives.

The leadership of the President’s coalition, including the President’s own party, has also been devoted to the idea of Charter Change. As such, the political mass necessary for constitutional change is there.

It is natural and normal for democracies to revise their Constitutions, to suit the evolving needs of the times, as well as to adjust for conditions that framers did not foresee. The US Constitution, the model constitution for Republics like ours, has been amended 27 times, with the first amendments being made just months after the Constitution went into effect.

In contrast, we have not amended the 1987 Constitution for almost 40 years now, despite having provisions that obviously require revision. In many ways, we are unnatural for the way we hold the 1987 Constitution as if it were unerring.

The House has tried several times in the past to initiate charter change. Such attempts have languished in the Senate. Being nationally elected representatives of the people, it should be more encouraging to Senators to heed the electorate’s call via People’s Initiative. As such, I support ongoing efforts to initiate Charter Change through the direct involvement of the voters.

Allow me to emphasize this: It is better to initiate Charter Change long before the 2028 Presidential Elections, so that the public can rest assured that this is no attempt to extend President Marcos’s term. The time to do it is now, when there is also enough time to do it before the 2025 midterm elections.

There are constitutionally-provided processes of initiating Charter Change, and there is a process for opposing Charter Change. Let us go through the process, proponents and opponents alike.

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