By: Christopher Arnuco

(Presidential Assistant & Former NYC Commissioner of Mindanao)

1) The 1987 Constitution has already served its purpose

The present charter is more convenient with preventing a repeat of the Marcos dictatorship rather than anticipating future challenges.

If we are to ensure a better future for the youth, it is time that we stop legislating against the past, rather exercise out imaginations to build foundations for the future.

2) Changing the present Constitution to a parliament-federal form of government will increase the Filipino Youth’s involvement in Nation Building.

It will empower the youth to choose not only the candidates for the Parliament but also the political party they want to govern the country and the regional and local governments.

The eligible members of the youth sector can elect the members of the Parliament among candidates in the parliamentary districts and also by proportional representation of the rival political parties in the parliamentary election

3) Section 13 of Article II of the present charter (rationale of the Youth in Nation-Building Act of 1995) is deemed subsumed by the provision on FAMILY under Article XVI of the proposed charter. Likewise, the opening up of the present charter would also be an opportunity to include more provisions in the proposed charter empowering the youth.

A comprehensive program for the development of children and youth calls for attention to their health, welfare, education, training and community involvement.

The adequate satisfaction of these different aspects of young people’s needs is utterly wanting in this country. Not the least of the reasons for this are the limited available resources of the nation, compounded by accelerated population growth which threatens to cancel out that possibility of raising the levels of adequacy in meetings those needs.

But more significantly is the failure to appreciate properly the role of children and youth in society and the substantial returns that would accrue from a determined investment in their development.

4) More resources may be allocated to address the needs of the youth.

The proposed charter will reduce the high cost of electing head of the government by choosing the leader of the majority party (or coalition) in Parliament as Prime Minister.

At present it costs Php3,000,000,000 to run a presidential campaign and Php800,000,000 to run a senatorial campaign (Chartering the Future by Alex Magno).

Said amounts are not sustainable in the Philippines. Instead of spending much for campaign, more funds should be spent in addressing the needs of the youth.

5) The youth may be ensured of a better representation in the Parliament. Members of the Parliament are more permanent. The youth (ages 15-30) comprises 25.17% of the Filipino voting population (as of year 2000).

The selection of additional members of Parliament through proportional representation of the political parties (party list of all political parties) will let the leading political party select competent leaders (among professional, youth leaders, scholars) to serve in Parliament and the Cabinet.

Members of the Parliament shall be elected for a term of five (5) years, with no term limits.

6) The youth will be ensured of leaders who are educated.

Aside from being a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter and a resident in the district in which he shall be educated, a Member of Parliament shall be at least twenty-five (25) years of age on the date of the election and at least a college graduate.

7) The proposed Federal Republic of the Philippines will build a just and enduring framework for peace through unity in our ethnic, religious and cultural diversity, especially in relation to Bangsa Moro and our lumad/indigenous peoples.

The Federal Republic will empower the youth through their autonomous local and regional governments. It will enable the youth to raise their standard of living and embrace their political awareness through their participation and efficacy in elections and the making of government decisions at the regional and local levels.

8) Federalism and a parliamentary government would gradually enable our democracy to deliver on a constitutional promise of human rights, a better life for all, a just and humane society, and responsible and accountable political leadership and governance.

The proposed charter also envisions a more responsible and accountable youth sector, as they will have a better hand in choosing their leaders and representatives in the parliament.

9) Under the proposed charter, the goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities, wealth and income, and expanding productivity as the key to raising the quality of life for all, especially the underprivileged.

Opening the doors to investors would mean hard capital, which the country badly needs, instead of mere dollar remittances.

10) Citizenship restriction on franchises and ownership of public utilities are removed. Congress shall enact legislation to provide the franchises granted to corporations with substantial foreign ownership are limited public utilities of large scale.

By liberalizing the extent of foreign ownership of corporations in certain lines of businesses and mass media, in recognition of globalization of information, would entail more capital needed to achieve international standards for operation of such media.


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