Question I, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam

A priority thrust of the Administration is the change of the form of government from unitary to federal. The change can be effected only through constitutional amendment or revision.

(a) What are the methods of amending the Constitution? Explain briefly each method. (3%)

(b) Cite at least three provisions of the Constitution that need to be amended or revised to effect the change from unitary to federal, and briefly explain why? (3%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) The following is the procedure for amending or revising the Constitution:

1) Proposal for amendment or revision; and,

2) Ratification via plebiscite.

For the proposal for any revision of the Constitution, it may be proposed by:

1) The Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members;

2) A constitutional convention; or

3) People’s initiative. (Section 1 and 2, Article XVII, 1987 Constitution)

For the plebiscite, any revision of the Constitution to be ratified requires a majority of the votes cast.

(b) The following should be amended or revised to effect a change from unitary to federal Government:

1) The provision describing the Philippines as a democratic and republic State to a democratic and federal State;

2) The provisions under Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary to align with a federal system of Government; and,

3) The provisions under Local Government Unit to increase its powers and functions to that of a federal system of Government.
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