Let's do Cha-cha next year -- Cayetano

CHARTER Change can wait until next year.

This is according to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano who added he doesn’t want the House of Representatives to be questioned on the timing, should it start discussing changes to the 1987 Constitution.

In a television interview, Cayetano said the priority of Congress is to look for measures on how to help in economic recovery amid the pandemic caused by coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

He said once everything is settled, Cha-cha can be discussed probably by next year.

“So we're going to do that as a parallel effort sa 'Cha-cha.' So if ma-solve next month yung COVID and we're up on our feet next January, February then we can talk about Cha-cha,” Cayetano said.

Both the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) are pushing for some changes in the provisions of the Constitution.

Aside from the issue of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) distribution, proponents are also suggesting increase in the term limits of local executive officials.

Cayetano also expressed concern about the plebiscite which is not possible in this time of health crisis.

“Sabi ko nga, may hipocrisy din kasi, minsan the same people who are saying huwag mag-Cha-cha, ako I agree kasi paano ka magpeplebisito, and they want the people's initiative with ABS, eh ang people's initiative kailangan mo pa rin ng plebisito, so ano during COVID papipilahin mo mga tao, pabobotohin mo and ang plebiscite has a campaign, so you'll gonna have open rallies with a lot of people,” he said.

Earlier, the chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodrigue said that he will convene the House panel to discuss some proposals on constitutional amendments when session opens.

Pending in the committee is the proposed Federalism, which is being pushed by President Rodrigo Duterte.