This is how Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo described the planned resurrection of Charter Change discussion, saying it will not fly amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.
“After more than three decades, we need to evaluate our Constitution, but today is not the right time,” the Assistant Majority Leader said.
“Our people and the international community, especially our Southeast Asian neighbors who are wondering why we have not been able to contain COVID-19 despite having the longest lockdown in the world, will see us as insensitive and arrogant if we tackle Cha-cha now,” she added.
She expressed fears that putting constitutional amendment proposals on the legislative agenda in the coming months would derail the country’s COVID-19 response.
“Cha-cha is a highly divisive issue. It will sap the nation’s attention, resources, logistics, and manpower, which will all be diverted to this untimely effort,” she said.
The lady solon stressed that instead of talking about Cha-cha,lawmakers should focus on COVID-19 response and economic stimulus measures, including those that the House has already approved and which are pending in the Senate.
“We are seeing spikes in big numbers in infections that require our collective and single-minded attention. Let us not be sidetracked by issues we can postpone debating and fighting on and resolving,” she said.
Castelo added that she and her politician colleagues who are not health experts should zero in on providing relief, livelihood assistance and other forms of help to millions of Filipinos affected by COVID-19.