If the proposal of one House subcommittee will be approved, the President under the new federal Constitution will have a term of five years and will be allowed one re-election.
At its Tuesday meeting, the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments led by Representative Roger Mercado discussed the output of the four subcommittees tasked to review the 1987 Constitution and suggest revisions to be discussed during the proposed constituent assembly.
One of the outputs of Subcommittee 1, tasked to review Articles VI, VII and X of the 1987 Constitution and new Articles on Federal and Regional Powers as well as Number of States, was a revamp of the term and functions of the President.
Under the subcommittee's proposal, the President will be the "head of state symbolizing the sovereignty of the people, and the unity and solidarity of the nation."
The President will have an oversight power on all branches of the government, constitutional bodies, independent bodies, departments, agencies and offices, head of international relations and foreign affairs, commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and have appointing, pardoning and residual powers.
But unlike its current term limit, the President will have a term of "five years with one re-election," which will begin at noon on June 30 and end on the same day and time five years after.
The President will also be elected by a direct vote of the people.
But for Mercado, he would rather have the President have a term of four years with one re-election.
"Me, personally, I don't like five years. I only want four years. Because during the time that these terms were implemented before martial law, four years lang effective na," he said.
The Duterte administration has been pushing for a shift to a federal form of government as a means to address issues particularly in strife-torn Mindanao.
In an earlier interview, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said that if Congress decides to convene in a constituent assembly this month, the proposed new federal charter may be submitted for a referendum simultaneously with the scheduled barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections this May. —KG, GMA News