Will ‘tamer’ anti-dynasty bill lead to swifter passage in Congress?
Supporters of the controversial anti-political dynasty bill are well aware that they are going up against powerful political families themselves in their fight to get rid of monopolies in public offices. This means that the passage of the bill may take too long or, worse, may die in the plenary.
But one lawmaker believes that a compromise could lead to swifter passage in Congress.
Caloocan congressman Edgar Erice said he is continuing his ‘consensus-building’ of the bill before Congress resumes debates in May. The goal of this consensus-building is to create amendments that would be more acceptable to lawmakers who are part of political families.
The congressman said that removing political dynasties goes hand-in-hand with curbing corruption. Therefore, breaking up political families may lead to positive changes: ‘If we have to reform, this is very important for the transformation process.’
However, he also accepts the reality that a bill with a very strict measure against political dynasties may be held up by politicians with personal interests in mind.
taken from Centre for People Empowerment in Governance
The present anti-political dynasty bill states that two blood-related relatives up to the second degree (which includes a person’s parents, siblings, children, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and half-siblings) could not hold or run for public office at the same time. This means that only one member of a family up to the second degree can hold or run for public office at one time.
This section is what Erice wants to amend: he proposes to relax this restriction to allow two members of a family to be elected simultaneously. This would make the bill target only those political families that have more than two members in public offices at the same time, affecting fewer lawmakers and increasing the chances the bill will be passed in Congress.
The bill also seeks to prevent political families from passing public posts from one member to another. ‘If they don’t want to give up their seats, that’s not serving the country anymore. That’s being greedy,’ said Erice.
Many sectors have joined the calls for the passage of the anti-dynasty bill. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines last year issued a statement saying ‘Political dynasties breed corruption and ineptitude.’
Article II Section 26 of the 1987 Constitution condemns political dynasties. However, there is no implementing law that guarantees this. The anti-political dynasty bill aims to fill this gap in the constitution.
(Photo from thepinoysite.com)