ANY PARLIAMENTARY shift in the government must take into account the culture of the people, according to a forum on constitutional change, “Youth’s Voice Forum: Experiences on Parliamentary Government,” last Aug. 16 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex Auditorium.

The right form of government should be contextualized, according to Klaus Preschle, representative to the Philippines of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Germany.

“You have to be honest of the culture and should always follow a country’s content,” Preschle said. “Do not follow labels of other countries. Know what your country wants.”

Jose Abueva, chairman of the Consultative Commission that drafted the proposed new constitution, discussed the conditions for an effective parliamentary system.

“Cha-Cha is just the first step and we need more than that,” Abueva said. “Cha-Cha is not a panacea. We need responsible and accountable leaders who are empowered economically and politically.”

In the post-evaluation report of the National Youth Commission, one of the organizers of the forum, the majority of more than 100 Thomasians who attended the forum were in favor of a parliamentary government, pointing to more accountability of government officials as its primary advantage.

“There seems to be a consistent perception that politicians’ activities in general are not much of help to the present situation, thus young people are clamoring for more accountability in government,” Jojo Rigor, presidential officer of the NYC, told the Varsitarian.

However, those who were not in favor of a parliamentary shift argued that “it really depends on the officials running the government and Filipinos are used to the present system.”

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It's not that lonely at the top

The Youth’s Voice Forum is part of a nationwide series of lectures by the NYC. It was a joint project of the NYC, Junior Chamber International-Philippines, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Frontier, AB Debate Parliament, Political Science Forum, and AB Student Council.

“The activity was intended to educate the youth about Cha-Cha since the youth sector accounts for one-third of the population,” Priscilla Marie Abante, NYC Commissioner, said.” Adrian T. Elumba

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