- Former Senate President Nene Pimentel is proposing increasing the number of senators to 66
- Under the proposed federal system, 6 senators will be elected from 11 proposed federal states
- Pimentel is confident that the shift to federalism would push through under Pres. Rodrigo Duterte
Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., one of the most vocal advocates for a shift to the federal form of government, is proposing to increase the number of senators to 66 under the federal system.
Should his proposal push through, six senators would be elected from the 11 federal states to be created, while retaining the current number of district representatives.
The current administration under President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing the amendment of the country’s Constitution in order to make the change to federalism.
Former Senator Pimentel, who is Duterte’s party mate in PDP-Laban, says that increasing the number of senators would pave the way in order that “every nook and corner of this country will have a senator.”
“Will that be a little too much for a country? No, sir, because the 24 senators, senatorial limit was conceived at a time when the Philippines only had about 18 to 20 million people,” Pimentel told ABS-CBN News.
The former Senate President, however, emphasized that in amending the Constitution, there should be provisions that would ensure a strict prohibition against political dynasties so that a few families will not be able to take advantage of different government positions.
“[It should be] clear that the son, daughter, husband, wife or whatever of a political figure cannot just inherit that power up to a certain degree,” he said.
Pimentel, who is also known as one of the main authors of the Local Government Code which was aimed at decentralizing power from “Imperial Manila,” said he is confident that the shift to federalism would be enacted under President Duterte’s term.
Duterte ran under a platform of making the shift to federalism while also enjoying a generally high trust rating.
“It is my belief that while the trust rating of the President is so high, he should take advantage of that for purposes of pushing for the adoption of a federal system of government,” Pimentel said.