Cayetano bats for ‘practical’ term extension for elected officials

Robie de Guzman

House Speakership aspirant, Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano is looking to extend the term limits of elected officials.

Cayetano, whose speakership bid in the 18th Congress was endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte, said that longer term of office is more “practical” and “productive” for lawmakers.

“While we will push for federalism, I think there is a way that the Senate will agree that we push either for four years, no term limit; or five years, three-term limit,” Cayetano said during a gathering of House lawmakers on Wednesday night.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution allows members of the House of Representatives to serve a three-year term and no more than three consecutive terms while a senator has a six-year team with one re-election.

Cayetano said the current term limit is hindering the country’s development.

“Bakit? You are elected in May. You take office in June. ‘Yung 6 months you’re still getting organized. Kung kalaban mo nakaupo, ubos na ‘yung pondo, di ba? Nag-explain ka pa sa tao bakit hindi mo nade-deliver lahat?” he said.

“Your budget starts in January. That’s only one year, 2020. Because at 2021, everyone’s thinking of 2022. Then the cycle starts again,” he added.

The speaker aspirant, however, clarified he wants the measure implemented to give lawmakers more time to approve bills.

“Kanina, may nagsabi na sa media, ‘Si Alan is pushing for term extension,’ which is not true; 15-21 na nga e. Baka iniisip ng iba, gusto kong gawing 4 o 5 years para ma-extend din kami. Hindi po ‘yun ang sinabi ko,” he said.

“Ang sabi ko, while there are substantive bills that we have to file, the reality is there is also administrative restrictions and limitations that’s why hindi magdevelop ang ating bansa. And one of them is the three-year term na may term-limit pa,” he said.

GOD Bless the 18th Congress.GOD Bless the Philippines.Posted by Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday, 10 July 2019

If he gets the House top seat during the election on July 22, in which he will serve for only 15 months, Cayetano said he wants to lead the most “disruptive” Congress.

“Kung pagbibigyan niyo ako, total 15 months lang ako. Ayoko umalis na failure. Gusto ko umalis na napaka-productive,” he said.

“I’m asking all of you, let us all be the most disruptive Congress, in the sense that we disrupted the status quo and we can deliver more,” he added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, views Cayetano’s suggestion to extend term limit as “delivering the wrong message.”

“Incoming House Speaker Cayetano’s longer term limit suggestion: Starting on the wrong foot, or delivering the wrong message,” Lacson wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday.

Lacson added that the proposal is just another way of saying goodbye to the proposed charter change in the 18th Congress.

“I would say, country first before self-interest,” he said.

Malacañang earlier said it is up to the lawmakers on whether to approve Cayetano’s proposal, and suggested that they ask the public about the matter. (with details from Grace Casin)

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