Malacañang said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is focused on responding to the COVID-19 crisis following reports that the agency is still pushing for Charter change.
In a televised briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the DILG has not been giving “extra effort” for the campaign aimed at revising the 1987 Constitution.
“Na-explain na po iyan ni [DILG spokesman] Usec. [Jonathan] Malaya. It is not really a priority. They are continuing, because the mechanism is there. Pero nakatutok po talaga tayo ngayon sa COVID-19,” Roque said.
“They are not exerting any effort naman po, any additional effort para isulong iyong Charter change during this time of COVID-19.”
Some senators on Sunday objected to the plan of the DILG to gather up to two million signatures over the next couple of months to support constitutional reforms.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the DILG should “focus more on the safety and food security of the people" while Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon warned that such a move will only “create distraction, division and unnecessary noise.”
“Sa akin po, it’s always been a mandate of DILG. They should do it, otherwise makakasuhan naman sila ng dereliction, pero at the same time makikita naman po ninyo na talagang ang DILG ang primary attention nila nakatutok po dito sa COVID-19,” Roque said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for constitutional change through the adoption of a federal system of government, arguing it will address economic and power imbalances in the country. —LDF, GMA News