By GLEE JALEA
July 12, 2019
Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano has yet to assume his post as speaker of the House of Representatives, but he has started pushing for a term extension for lawmakers.
Cayetano, in a meeting with fellow lawmakers late Wednesday, said he wants representatives to have either four years with no term limits or five years with term limits.
“While we will push for federalism, I think there is a way that the Senate will agree that we push either for four years [with] no term limit or five years na may (with) term limit,” he said.
“It is not a political thing, it is a practical thing,” Cayetano said.
He expressed confidence that his proposal would be implemented in the 19th Congress.
Under the 1987 Constitution, House members can serve for three consecutive three-year terms.
Malacañang, however, said Congress should seek public opinion on the proposed extension of terms of lawmakers.
Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said lawmakers might use a survey to get the sentiment of the public about the proposed lifting of term limits for legislators.
“I think more relevant would be what people want. I think they should conduct a survey on the sentiments of the people whether or not they agree with that proposal,” Panelo said in a news briefing.
“And I’m sure since that has been floated, there will be opinions being expressed by many sectors,” he said.
Under a term-sharing arrangement that Duterte has brokered, Cayetano and his rival, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, would split the speaker’s term of three years.
The Taguig lawmaker would serve for 15 months, with his colleague from Marinduque to succeed him as speaker for the remaining 21 months.
Cayetano said the 1987 Constitution, which allows members of the House of Representatives to serve a term of three years and no more than three consecutive terms, hindered the country’s development.
Panelo, nonetheless, said the Palace was leaving to the wisdom of lawmakers to decide on the proposed term extension.
“The decision always lies with the members of Congress because they are the ones passing the bill,” he added.
With a reports from CATHERINE S. VALENTE
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