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2019 poll postponement 'practical': Alvarez



House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Wednesday it would be more "practical" to postpone the 2019 midterm elections to pave the way for the transition to a federal form of government.

Alvarez said aside from Charter change, the House would have its hands full with other activities, such as the budget deliberations, the filing of Certificates of Candidacy in October, the campaign period in February next year, and the scheduled interruptions of congressional operations, including Halloween and Christmas breaks.

“Papaano tayo magka-quorum dito? Syempre magkakampanya na yung mga congressmen election yan eh, survival. (How will we reach quorum here? Of course, congressmen will be busy campaigning by then since it would be election period. [It’s] survival),” Alvarez said in a news conference.

“Paano natin gagawin ang proposal to revise the Constitution? Kung gusto nating matapos yan, para sakin, yun ang dapat pag-aralan na mabuti ang timetable (How would we be able to make the proposal to revise the Constitution? If we want to finish that, we should carefully consider the timetable),” he added.

Alvarez said Congress must double its efforts and focus on its move to amend the Charter.

“Kung gugustuhin talaga na matapos ito, kasi kailangan mo ng focus dyan eh. Hindi pwedeng basta-basta na lang (If we really want to finish this [Charter change] we have to focus on it and not overlook it)” he added.

Alvarez formally received the draft federal Constitution prepared by the 22-member Consultative Committee, which was handed to him personally by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno.

The Speaker said the lower chamber will start studying the draft federal charter.

Filane Mikee Cervantes / PNA