Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said that although the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution is okay with him, the House has “no more time” to tackle it as the government intends to focus more on fighting the pandemic.
Velasco told Daily Tribune on Tuesday that there really is a need for Charter change (Cha-cha), but Congress no longer has time to discuss it due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“To be honest, po talaga, I would want to push for Charter change, but I think there is really no more time, especially [since] we’re focusing all our efforts sa COVID, yung mga responses natin,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I really feel that we have to review, amend our Charter,” he added.
For one, the Speaker said the current three-year term for a congressman is “very short” to accomplish their district’s plans.
“Yung three years na paglilingkod natin sa taumbayan is very short. So instead of the public official really focusing yung mabibigay niya sa taong bayan, palagi na lang po tayo nakaisip, ‘O anong gagawin sa eleksyon?'” he said.
Velasco: House has ‘no more time’ for Cha-cha
“So I think we really have to change that and actually give them a little more time, a couple more years na to be able of service to the people,” he added.
Velasco noted that the delay on Cha-cha deliberation does not mean it would be dead for the rest of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term.
“Ako po ay makikipag-usap sa ating mahal na Pangulo, at kung sinabi po niya ay kinakailangan po nating gawin, ay gagawin po natin. But ako po personally, I feel na kailangan mag-focus muna tayo sa mga COVID-19 responses,” he said.
“Pero syempre ako po ay tumitingala lang sa ating minamahal na Pangulo, mas matindi po ang wisdom sa akin niyan, he’s more wise so kung ano pong gusto niya, I know naman po that would be for the betterment of the country,” he added.
Despite this statement, the new House Speaker denied that the Congress under his leadership would not be a “rubber stamp” of Malacañang.