April 16, 2019 – The sixth Inter-agency Task Force on the Federal Structure of Government Cluster (IATF-SFGC) meeting was held at the Department of Justice, Ermita, Manila.
The meeting highlights the issues on certain provisions of the Bayanihan Constitution as well as the role of the IATF-SFGC in helping the charter change initiative. Representative from the DILG, Mr. Mon Casiple, stated that with regards to the issue on how the SFGC will proceed with their deliberations as a cluster; the cluster is not bound by the Bayanihan draft. Mr. Casiple acknowledged the existence of the Constitutional Committee as a body mandated by the President in drafting the Constitution but states that at the same time, the President also did not immediately approve of the draft and instead created a committee to review the Bayanihan Constitution drafted by the members of the Constitutional Committee. Mr. Casiple then stated that if there are perhaps limitations to what the IATF SFGC can do as a committee, what is certain is that they are forbidden to deviate from the very idea of federalism itself. Given this however, he stated that the IATF SFGC can influence the structure of the Bayanihan Constitution as it is a working draft.
Another issue that was raised in the meeting was with regards to the 5% threshold of the party system proposed in the draft. The body failed to vote on the issue as it was cited in the meeting that most of the agencies would want to wait a little to submit their own position papers at a later date.
The meeting proceeded with the usual question and answer format in consultation with ConCom member and LOGODEF Director Prof. Edmund Tayao. Prof. Tayao emphasized in the meeting that still, the ConCom is waiting for the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) to release the official transcript (notes, etc.) of the ConCom deliberations when they drafted the Bayanihan Constitution.
One specific issue that was highlighted in the meeting is on the matters pertaining to the judiciary. The body hopes and strives to make an effort that at the next time IATF SFGC will convene, the retired Justices from the ConCom will also be invited in the deliberations.
The Chair reminds the body that the next meeting of the IATF SFGC will be the last meeting intended for consultation and that it will also be the deadline for the different agencies to submit their comments and their position paper with regards to the Bayanihan draft Constitution.
Meeting concluded at 4:32 p.m.