Ideal time for shift to parliamentary gov’t

The Philippine presidential form of government after 65 years of use has failed us. With a multiparty system under the present Constitution, our elections have degenerated into a circus-like extravaganza with a hodgepodge of old political dynasties (despite the constitutional ban), movie and TV personalities, rebellious military officers, convicted felons, and millionaires pretending to be penniless party-list representatives forcing themselves in the picture.

If we want to usher in economic progress, lasting peace and global competitiveness, we must establish that form of government which will gather the best minds from the broadest base of our people. Let us have a parliamentary government consistent with our multiparty system. The change can be done most economically, most expeditiously and least divisively via Congress sitting as a constituent assembly.

After the 2013 elections, it would be ideal for the Senate and the House of Representatives to sit together as a constituent assembly to draft the Charter that would pave the way for the shift to a parliamentary form of government, where they will be members of the first parliament. The draft will be presented to the people in a national plebiscite for their approval or disapproval.

There are many bountiful reasons for our people and country to vote for the change: economy, simplicity, more efficiency, more accountability, more transparency, fewer divisive elections, more expeditious and responsive governance by the best qualified leaders chosen from the breadth and width of the country. These are all parliamentary trademarks.

The parliament performs the duties and responsibilities of both the Senate and the House of Representatives as well as the entire executive branch of government. There are no candidates for president, vice president or senators—positions that cost too much money and blood, not to mention the pervasive violence and divisiveness they cause among our people during elections. The members of the parliament choose the prime minister. Simply stated, it only takes the selflessness and magnanimity of our leaders, specifically President Aquino and the 23 senators who will sit down with the congressmen in a constituent assembly, to make it happen for our 90 million people, for posterity and for history.


executive director,

Social Policy Advocacy,

15 Charleyville St.,

White Plains, Quezon City

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Tags: letters to the editor , Parliamentary , politics , Presidential

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