For several times, we rejected the proposal to amend our constitution out of fears of ‘hidden motives’ that are already widely discussed. Whether the ‘fears’ had basis or not, those were not important. The past proposals were all archived for ‘good’.
During the Ramos administration (in 1997), we witnessed the first attempt to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution. The proposed amendments became very popular as Charter Change or “Cha-Cha.” Criticism stormed the proposal. It never prospered, of course.
Ousted president, Joseph Estrada had also his own version of Cha-Cha called Constitutional Correction for Development (CONCORD). Again, it never got much support. Unlike the previous proposal, CONCORD was more attractive because of the keyword, “economy”.
In 2005, then Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. led several congressmen in pursuing a move to amend the Constitution through the Constituent Assembly. Once again, criticism rained the proposal. On December 2006, de Venecia declared, “Con-ass [constituent assembly] initiative is now dead.” 
In April 2008, 11 Senators (It increases to 16.) backed Joint Resolution No. 10 – a new tune of old Cha-Cha. The lower house expressed support as long as the change is after 2010. The keyword “Federalism” excites many.
Now, Cha-Cha is no longer danced – it becomes talk of the town. Is this the right time to Cha-Cha?
Joint Resolution No. 10 seems stand out as “the fairest of all Cha-Cha proposal”. It doesn’t receive the “usual” storms of criticism. It seems Joint Resolution No. 10 is so beautiful that is “not stoned” with typical “protest actions” and not drowned with monotonous chants.
The beauty of the most recent proposal to amend our constitution lies on keyword “Federalism”. It’s been too long since we hear the clamor of the “need” to decentralize our system. Those in the province complained that government power has long been concentrated in Manila. Now, the time has come – an opportunity to those in the provinces.
Yes, there is a need to change. We need change. But change must not be done in a hasty manner.
Let’s talk on this matter first – our consensus later.
Blog I author (Bisaya): Ambot Lang!