Arroyo's proposed constitution reaches House plenary

MANILA, Philippines – A House committee has recommended "without amendment" to the plenary the draft constitution introduced by Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and 21 other legislators. 

A report by House committee on constitutional amendments dated October 2 showed that the Arroyo-led proposal sought to create a federal system of government. 

According to the draft, the provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution "already served, if not outlived, their purpose," therefore there is already justification for amendments and revisions. 

One of its objectives, according to the draft's fact sheet, was to "make the Constitution responsive to the exigencies of the times and to spur regional economic development in the countryside, and provide impetus to much needed socio-economic and political reforms."

Arroyo's draft, filed on September 19, is different from the draft constitution submitted by President Rodrigo Duterte's 22-member Consultative Committee. (READ: 4 things you need to know about Duterte Con-Com's draft constitution)

Under Arroyo's draft constitution, the president and vice president will be elected together and will serve 4-year terms, subject to one reelection.

It also seeks to adopt a bicameral legislative department where members will have 4-year terms. An elected legislator, it added, should hold a college degree, among other requirements. 

It prohibits Congress from increasing budget appropriations recommended by the President except for the Senate, House of Representatives, and the judicial department. – Rappler.com