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Bengzon: Real issue in cha-cha is nat’l dev’t

ROXAS CITY (10 April) -- The real issue behind the intention of the government to amend the Constitution is to spur national development and not in any way to advance the personal interest of some people including President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

This was emphasized by Commissioner Maria Romela M. Bengzon during the “Grand Debate on Charter Change” organized by the provincial government last April 7 at CAP Auditorium here. Bengzon is a member of the Advocacy Commission for Charter Change and chairs the Commission’s committee on trade liberalization.

The issue here is not something personal to the President but her desire to propel the nation forward especially in terms of economic progress, averred Bengzon as she parried issues against charter change.

Bengzon, who was warmly appreciated by the audience for her splendid presentation, said the shift from presidential to parliamentary form of government, which is at the core of charter change, will hasten the development of the country and address some of the major socio-political obstacles to it.

The lady Commissioner, who traces her roots to Capiz and Iloilo, said we have gone through the presidential form of government for about half a century, thinking it is the best form to match the development needs of the country.

However, time has passed, presidents have come and gone, and the Philippines has yet to achieve real development under a presidential form of government. There has to be a change in the system, Bengzon said.

The so-called grand debate was organized by the provincial government to enlighten the people on the issue of constitutional change and how it would affect their lives. The lady Commissioner was invited by the provincial government to shed light on the side taken by President Arroyo in favor of amending the 1987 Constitution.

Earlier, Gov, Vicente Bermejo pointed out that “educating our people (through the debate) is very important so that they could arrive at an intelligent decision once they will be asked whether to approve or reject the Charter change proposal.

Hundreds of representatives from various sectors of the community including the academe, business, private sector, non-government organizations, people’s organizations, cause-oriented groups, local government units, national government agencies and the media attended the activity.

It was aired live by local radio and cable television stations here. (PIA-JSC)



PIA Press Release

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