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Mayors not pushing for lifting of term limits, says DILG

The country's league of town mayors are not pushing for the lifting of term limits, the Department of the Interior and Local Governments said on Monday.

Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said mayors across the country were not pushing for term extension amid talks to make amendments in the 1987 Constitution.

"To the credit of the League of Municipalities, all 1,000 of them, wala po silang isinusulong na term extension o lifting of the term limits na tinatawag," Malaya told Super Radyo dzBB.

Malaya's clarification came after the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) submitted a resolution to the agency, stressing constitutional amendments which they supported.

These, they said, will help their towns attain economic and social development.

According to Malaya, the resolution will be forwarded to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chair Rufus Rodriguez.

Rodriguez earlier said he would convene his panel to discuss the proposed constitutional reforms of the LMP around two weeks after the opening of the Second Regular Session of the 18th Congress on July 27.

The said LMP resolution endorses a proposal to institutionalize the so-called Mandanas Ruling of the Supreme Court in the Constitution and the lifting of restrictions on foreign investment in industries that are presently limited to Filipinos.

No elections?

In a statement, LMP national president and Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Chavit Singson said any scenario for no elections in 2022 had never entered the minds of the municipal mayors when they tackled the constitutional reforms.

He said the constitutional amendments the mayors seek were for economic development.

"Pero sa aming mga mayor, kailangan namin ng dagdag na pondo at mga trabaho para sa aming mga botante lalo na’t hirap ang ekonomiya ngayong may COVID 19 pandemic tayo,” Singson said.

Singson said municipal mayors saw the lack of resources as a hindrance to their capability to manage the COVID-19 pandemic because it supposedly prevented the establishment of adequate hospital care facilities that would have kept the spread of the virus from one place to another.

“Bigger share in the national taxes would mean even the poor towns will have a fair share of the taxes, which means now we can think of improving health care and putting up adequate care facilities in our municipalities,” Singson said.

“Now we need to send some of our residents infected by COVID 19 to facilities in the capital which means somewhere along the way the risk of infection by anyone is very high,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Palace has said the focus of the Duterte administration is preventing the spread of COVID-19, noting that President Rodrigo Duterte has not mentioned the passage of constitutional reforms in his weekly addresses to the nation. -NB, GMA News