AS SOME lawmakers push for a change to a parliamentary system of government, a ranking Catholic Church official said during a forum on charter change that the country needs an effective and conscientious Constitution that focuses on the common good.

Caloocan City Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez said there is a strong need to reflect on the moral implications of charter change, and the moral dimensions of a Constitution.

“The socio-moral dimension of the Constituion is whether it is anchored on the realization that the action is intended for the common good,” Iñiguez said in a forum on the legal and socio-moral foundation of charter change last March 10 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Center seminar-workshop rooms. “It is our main responsibility to discern the effects of the act on the common good.”

Meanwhile, House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. said a parliamentary system of government is more effective for its legislative efficiency, political stability, and quality control.

“Under a parliamentary system, a prime minister’s government may be brought down by a simple no-confidence vote from parliament; in this case, we could avoid impeachments and coup attempts that agitate the nation’s instability,” he explained.

The House Speaker said deadlocks between the Executive and the Legislative departments, which slow down the legislation process, will be eradicated because the two branches of government will be rolled into one under the parliamentary form.

On the other hand, Atty. Ramon Teh, convenor of Counsels for the Defense of Liberties, denounced charter change, saying it is detrimental to the country’s economy.

“Charter change is for foreign businessmen and landlords,” Teh said. “The trade liberalization program will indicate the fall of Philippine industries.”

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The trade liberalization program, which De Venecia claimed to be the answer to the country’s ailing economy, will allow foreigners to own and develop lands in the country when the Constitution is changed, Teh explained.

Organized by the Social Research Center, the forum was participated in by the Urban Poor of Metro Manila, Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomista, Rizalista, and Grupo ng Magsasaka. April Dawn Jennifer C. Adriatico and J. dL. Yamzon

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