Sotto to pro-charter change solons: Just amend Local Government Code

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 27 2020 11:24 PM | Updated as of Jul 28 2020 12:06 AM

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III speaks to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano before the 5th State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Batasang Pambansa on July 27, 2020. (Photo by the Office of the Senate President)

MANILA - Senate President Vicente Sotto on Monday declined to entertain several lawmakers' push to amend the 1987 Constitution, saying Congress can enact laws to help Filipinos survive the COVID-19 crisis without tinkering with the charter.

Lawmakers who want to change the Constitution allegedly to ease several business restrictions during the health and economic crises can just amend the Local Government Code and other laws, Sotto told reporters in an online press conference.

"Kulang ba ang Local Government Code? Ang mga pagkukulang ba kailangan Constitution ang galawin?" Sotto said.

"If you ask me, I don't see the connection. I'm sorry," he said.

Sotto has been consistent in saying that charter change is "not a priority of the Senate."

"Unfortunately, for those who are proposing it (charter change), it is not [a priority in the Senate]," he said.

"We will act on it if it reaches us, but at the moment I don't see any member of the Senate pushing for such," he said.

The Senate will instead focus on measures that will improve the Philippines' digital connectivity, public transportation and distance-learning system during the COVID-19 crisis, he said.