Decades-old Constitution must be reviewed — Bong Go

Sen. Bong Go maintained that the 35 years old 1987 Constitution needs to be reviewed and may need to be amended to better suit the times.

“Ako naman po, personally, 1987 pa ang Constitution natin, 35 years na po ito. Kailangan nang i-review — pag-aralan nating mabuti at gawing mas suitable sa modern times,” said Go during an ambush interview after personally providing assistance to residents in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.

“Agree naman po ako na kung kailangang maging akma po ito sa present times o mga present condition and challenges, ‘yung after 35 years kumbaga, ‘yung iba sa atin ay bata pa, may mga hindi pa ipinapanganak,” he added.

In the interview, Go urged the government and legal experts to study thoroughly the idea of changing the country’s system of governance to federalism, noting that it would grant localities more autonomy in addressing their constituency’s concerns.

“Pag-aralan natin nang mabuti ‘yung federalism, mas dagdag at malawak na control sa mga local officials sa kanilang pagresolba sa mga problema sa kanilang kinauukulang lugar,” said Go.

The senator also pointed out that since other regions will be able to maximize their resources under a federal set-up, this could lead to increased economic development for those areas.

“Mas magiging mas mabilis ang pag-unlad dahil mas malaking income matatanggap nila —yung share nila sa mga buwis… at wastong paggamit ng kanilang likas na yaman ang maiiwan po sa kanila dito sa federalism,” he added.

If the country shifts to federalism, the senator reiterated that local governments will be able to provide more appropriate solutions to their pressing concerns since they are more familiar with their respective situations.

“Mas magiging akma po ang magiging solusyon dahil alam n’yo ang puno’t dulo ng isyu diyan, mas kapa nila ang problema sa baba, mas alam ng mga local, so mas mabilis po ang ating mga disaster response, matutugunan kaagad,” he added.

Go emphasized, however, that any revisions must be made with the interest of the Filipino people in mind.

“But ulitin ko lang po, kung gagalawin ang Constitution, ulitin ko lang po — dapat po ang makinabang ang taumbayan. Interes ng Pilipino, interes ng bayan ang unahin natin, hindi po dapat ang pulitiko ang makikinabang kung saka-sakaling gagalawin po ang Konstitusyon,” he urged.

Go has early on expressed his support for the shift to federalism, saying that it would promote more equitable regional development throughout the country. The senator noted that former president Rodrigo Duterte also shared this vision.

“That is why I am one with our Chair (of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments), Senator Robinhood Padilla, in his call to shift to federalism. Hindi naman po kaila sa atin na iyon po ang pinangarap ni dating pangulong Rodrigo Duterte,” said Go in his previous pronouncements.

“Greater benefits of a stronger local government are ensured and the lives of Filipinos are prioritized,” Go added, saying this will ensure that true participation and decision-making happen on the ground.

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