Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Saturday said there is still a need to study further the proposed shift to a federal form of government, as the House of Representatives prepares to pass its draft by the first quarter of 2019.
In an interview with radio dwIZ, the 94-year-old former lawmaker said his concerns about the proposed federal charter were among the factors that pushed him to take aim at the Senate, one more time.
Enrile said he believes there are still "lapses" in the Consultative Committee (Con-Com), particularly the lack of a study on the on the expenses needed to sustain federalism.
"Dapat pinag-aaralan 'yan at binigyan ko rin ang gobyerno ng studies ko na 'yan at gusto ko rin na i-share sa bansa, sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan. 'Yung nakita kong kakulangan sa pag-aaral na ginawa nung mga member Con-Com at walang tumatalakay ngayon n'yan at palagay ko, sa aking mga kasama, eh wala pang nakapag aral nyan. Eh napag-aralan ko," he said.
The former Senate President said he hopes to "join the discussions" in Congress as he believes the charter's passage is being "rushed" in the House of Representatives.
He was referring to House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman Leyte Representative Vicente Veloso's statement that the draft charter could be approved by December this year and set for ratification in February 2019.
"Gusto kong sumali sa usapan, sapagkat delikado 'yan kung mamadaliin na hindi sapat sa pag-aaral," he said.
TRAIN 2 needs amendment
Pressed for his take on the implementation of the second tranche of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN 2) Law, Enrile would like to suggest amendments to the excise taxes, which he said, have affected the economy and contributed to the rising inflation.
"Hindi ko haharangin 'yung panukala na 'yon, pero isa-suggest ko mga babaguhin para sa gano'n hindi masasaktan ang bayan."
"Sa TRAIN law, rerebisahin ko 'yung taxes na ipinataw no'n na nagpe-pressure ng presyo ng mga bilihin, sapagkat 'pag pinatawan mo ng buwis ang enerhiya at babagsak pa ang balor ng peso, hindi mo na maso-solve ang inflation na 'yan," he added. —Margaret Claire Layug/LBG, GMA News