Congress told: Ask the people about term-extension proposal

The House of Representatives should conduct a survey on the people to know whether or not they agree on the proposal to extend the term of lawmakers, the Palace said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said lawmakers should seek public opinion on the proposal to extend the lawmakers’ terms.

“I think more relevant would be what the people want. I think they should conduct a survey on the sentiments of the people―whether or not they agree on that proposal,” Panelo said.

“And I’m sure since that has been floated, there will be opinions being expressed by many sectors.” 

Panelo made the statement after Cayetano, the first choice of President Rodrigo Duterte in the speakership race in the House, floated the possibility of extending the lawmakers’ terms to four years with no term limits or five years with term limits.

“It is not a political thing. It is a practical thing,” Panelo said Wednesday.

“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, 3-term limit.”

Saying he wanted to implement his proposal in the next Congress, Cayetano then appealed to lawmakers to give his idea a try.

“Agree with me on this since I’ll only serve for 15 months. I don’t want to leave as a failure. I want to leave a productive [Congress],” Cayetano said.

“I’m asking all of you: Let us be the most disruptive Congress―in the sense that we disrupted the status quo and we can deliver more.”

Panelo, however, said the decision still depended on the members of Congress.

“The decision would always lie in the members of Congress because they are the ones passing the bill,” Panelo said. 

“We will leave it to the judgment of the members of Congress.”

Under the Constitution, congressmen are only allowed to serve a term of three years and no more than three consecutive terms.

Topics: House of Representatives , Salvador Panelo , Rodrigo Duterte , Alan Peter Cayetano
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