Lawmakers take federalism course before convening for cha-cha

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Members of the House of Representatives attend Federalism course before convening for the Charter Change.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — More than 30 lawmakers, along with more than a hundred of their congressional staff, attended a lecture series on federalism at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Some lawmakers admitted that they needed a deeper understanding of federalism before they could start amending the Constitution and changing the country's form of government.

“Most of the congressmen, who are not, like me, I need to learn more about the issues and fundamentals of federalism.  It's good to attend,” Negros Oriental Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong said.

Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department Director General Romulo Miral said many congressmen were familiar with federalism — but there was a need to provide more enlightenment on certain issues.

Aside from attending lectures, Miral said some lawmakers were also preparing on their own for the task ahead.

“Lawmkaers raised very intelligent questions, just shows they have already some understanding of federalism,” Miral said.

But Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman warned against these seminars, especially those organized by the government.

Watch: Businessmen express concerns over Federalism proposal

“It's a biased seminar sapagkat pinepresent lang doon ang so-called advantages of federalism. There is no differing view,” Lagman said.

Translation: "It's a biased seminar because it only presents the so-called advantages of federalsim. There is no differing view."

But Miral clarified, they were not trying to influence the stand of lawmakers on federalism.

1-Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, meanwhile, stressed the importance of educating the public on federalism.

After all, he said, whatever Congress passes, the public would still have to accept or scrap through a referendum.

Also read: Lawmakers argue about mode for Charter Change