It’s been weeks now that the ZTE controversy has been grabbing the headlines on TV and the newspapers. There seems to be no end to it and the investigations will continue as everyone wants a piece of Lozada, the new super hero, and ride on to his popularity. A lot of time is wasted here as the investigations should start with a case being filed against the accused and if there is merit, then the case can proceed. I believe that the best thing happened when Jamby Madrigal filed the case and let the courts decide who is guilty or not and let the guilty ones be punished. What we should look into is the systemic problems our political system has. The proposal is that in the 2010 presidential elections, we should also have a con-con and have the newly elected president lead the transition into a Parliament system by 2016. We seem to be one of the very few nations in the world that runs on a bi-cameral system and almost all Asian countries run on a parliamentary system today. In fact, we are the only country in Southeast Asia that has a presidential bicameral form of government.
The parliamentary form definitely has a lot of benefits vs. the current system. First, it will definitely be cheaper to become a prime minister as all you need to do is win a seat in the parliament. From thereon, you should be able to win the confidence of your party and the greater majority of the members of the parliament for you to be elected. Spending billions of pesos just to become president will be eliminated and patronage politics where people will donate to your campaign in a big way due to the cost to run will somehow be minimized.
Second, the prime minister must choose from the assembly who he would put as part of his minister’s office. The teamwork is tighter since all those who will be part of the Prime Minister’s team are elected officials and there is greater teamwork between the Assembly and the Executive Department. And also since there is only one house, no senate and no congress, it’s now one law-making body. Third and maybe the most important is by a simple loss of confidence, the prime minister and his team can be changed as we see this happen frequently in Japan. MY PROPOSAL is let’s do it the right way this time. A concon in 2010 and a Parliament in 2016. The new President serves his/her term together with the elected official of the Senate and Congress till the year 2016 and new president sees the implementation of a parliament. This will take a long time but this will remove the suspicion that the President wants to extend her term. This will further motivate those running in 2010 to support this plan and allow a transition of change. Better to be slow but sure. It is time we change the system changing presidents thru a people power which in the end is not correct. Making it expensive to run for office will just foster corruption and patronage politics. Let’s fix the system and give chance to any ordinary Filipino who has the vision and passion to serve this country be elected even if he does not have the wealth. A number of fellow columnists have shared this view and we hope to get the support of the business community and hopefully the PGMA administration to support this initiative as this will clearly show that she wants to see what is best for this country. Those willing to support the 2010-2016 proposal please email me at [email protected] or thru sms at 09175591245.