Fri, 28 Feb 2020

Constitutional reform targets to strengthen political party system

Philippine Information Agency
23 Oct 2019, 18:38 GMT+10

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Oct. 22 (PIA) - A salient feature of the proposed political and electoral reform provisions to the 1987 Constitution being pushed by the Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform (CFCR) involves the strengthening of the political party system to give chance to the lesser-known public.

Professor Jose Ramon Casiple, resource person on Constitutional Reform (CoRe), said amendment to the Constitution is necessary for it to create an immediate impact to the Filipino people.

Casiple said such changes in the provision include the strengthening of the political party system and imposing restrictions on political dynasties.

"The amendment would change the rules of the game. It would change traditional politics marred by vote buying, cheating and others," Casiple said during the CoRe Talk held in Lingayen town on Monday.

By strengthening the political party, he said, leaders produced will not be based on power or political clans.

"Kahit wala kang pera at hindi masyadong kilala ang apelyido mo, kung magaling ka, may qualities of a good leader at gusto mong magsilbi, ang partido ang bahala sayo. The party will raise funds and roll the campaign for you," Casiple explained.

The professor said the party can raise funds for a candidate as long as the concept is transparent. Contributions can come from individual citizens.

The party is restricted from accepting donations or contributions coming from illegal trade, jueteng, drug lords, syndicates, religious groups, foreign entities and corporations.

"Because it (party fund) will be a public fund, it will be audited by the Commission on Audit and a proper identification as to who the donor is, how much was donated and where the money was spent will be scrutinized," he added.

Another provision is the restriction on changing political parties to avoid monopoly.

If a candidate shifts to another political party while election time is nearing, he cannot run in the present political season. He would have to wait for the next election season.

The practice of shifting to the political party of whoever wins the Presidency will also be avoided, the resource speaker said.

"Mabigat ang restrictions, kaya bawal ang balimbing," Casiple clarified.

Casiple believes that the provision calling for the restriction on dynasties will be a long talk in Congress as 80 percent of the representatives are members of political dynasties, according to the CoRe survey.

The amendment dictates that the incumbent cannot be succeeded by a family member within the second degree of consanguinity.

Husband and wife tandem or parent and child tandem in the mayoralty and vice-mayoralty race are also prohibited in the provision because they are in the same jurisdiction.

"Pag mag-asawa o mag-tatay o mag-nanay sa executive and legislative branches sa iisang area of jurisdiction, wala ng check and balance," Casiple explained.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the CoRe Provincial Roadshow in Pangasinan is the first in the country and will be rolled to more provinces nationwide.

Other speakers from the CFCR who came to Pangasinan include Secretary Gary Olivar and Professor Eric Daniel De Torres. (AMB/VHS/PIA Pangasinan)

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