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PRRD to prioritize ConCon, FOI

MALACANANG, Philippines – President Rodrigo R. Duterte is pushing for a Constitutional Convention (ConCon) as a mode of changing some provisions of the Constitution which is among the priorities of the administration, said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella who presided over the first press briefing in Malacanang on Monday.
“As far as we know, President Duterte favors ConCon,” said Abella, pointing out that “it’s more consultative and with more representation.”
He explained that ChaCha (charter change) is among the priorities of the President, pointing out that federalism as the form of government is strongly being pushed. “I don’t know exactly how high a priority it is, but it’s part of the considerations that we do have several issues on hand.”
Abella added that freedom of information (FOI) is also a priority of the present administration which it intends to communicate to Congress for legislation even as an Executive Order (EO) is being prepared in line with the government’s policy of transparency.
Government contracts, salaries and bonuses of officials are among the areas to be considered in the forthcoming EO, Abella explained. “This is going to be part of the specifics that will be covered in the process. But definitely, it’s being focused on right now, I believe also within the week.”
Abella explained further that PRRD “abhors secrecy and he desires transparency, that’s part of his working style and his values that work ought to be done in a very transparent manner.”
In the same briefing, Abella also dwelt on emergency powers for the President to address the worsening traffic not only in Metro Manila but in other urban areas across the country. This is aside from the drug menace which the government is already addressing.

Criselda Cabangon David, a happy mother of two kids, is a full-time Sociologist at the City Government of Lucena, Quezon Province. She is currently the Managing Editor of Ang Diaryo Natin Sunday News, a weekly local community newspaper in the Philippines and an active member of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.