House reso seeks cha-cha to allow 5-year term, reelection for president, VP

House of Representatives. INQUIRER file photo / Niño Jesus Orbeta

MANILA, Philippines — On the inauguration day of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s administration, a resolution was filed at the House of Representatives seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution to allow the terms of the president and the vice president to be reduced to five years, but with one reelection.

Under House Resolution No. 1, Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. sought to lift constitutional limits on the term of not just the president and vice president, but also of the House of Representatives and local elective officials.

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The resolution was filed June 30 but was only made available to media the next day, the first full day of the Marcos administration.

The Constitution currently provides a single six-year term for the top two elective posts. Congressmen and elective officials, however, may have three three-year consecutive terms.

Gonzales said that the landslide victory of Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte serves as “the green light from our citizenry to proceed (with) the discussion on charter change.”

“It is hereby proposed that the term of office of the President shall be five years with a re-election to another five-year term, a maximum of a ten-year term. Thereafter, the President shall be prohibited to be a candidate to any elective post,” the resolution read.

It further stated: “The Vice President shall have a five-year term and may be re-elected for another five-year term, a maximum term for two consecutive five-year terms. Further, in every Presidential election, a vote for the President shall be a vote for the Vice President provided that both belong to the same political party. This is to encourage [a] strong party system.”

Aside from modifying the fixed term for the two highest posts in the country, Gonzales also proposed that the current three-year term of members of the House of Representatives and local elective officials, except for those at the barangay level, be increased to a five-year term subject to one consecutive re-election.

In the resolution, Gonzales did not include a change in the term of office of senators who are currently allowed to serve two consecutive terms.

‘Insufficient term’

According to Gonzales, the current term limit for the Chief Executive “appears to be insufficient” for the implementation of long-term programs and policies, especially as the country deals with the political and economic consequences of timely issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war against Ukraine.

“We are now (on) the road to recovery having more than P12 trillion national debt due to the COVID-19 pandemic and most recently, the high prices of fuel due to the Russia-Ukraine war. A long-term solution is wanting, hence, longer-term policy on good and competent leadership should be put into place,” he underscored.

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