PAGADIAN CITY — Mayor Samuel S. Co led more than a thousand employees of the city government in a gathering at the city quadrangle last Wednesday, March 22, pledging their gesture of support to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyos campaign for charter change.

Mayor Samuel Co during the gathering reiterated his position on Charter Change, saying he is giving his full support and backing a signature drive. The chief executive favors the change from bi-cameral to unilateral parliamentary form of government.

I have pledged to support peoples initiative as the best method in amending the Constitution, thus, we are mounting a signature campaign to all registered voters in the city, Co said.

We are responding to the call of our people to carry out changes in the 1987 Constitution to save our country from the system of constant chaos, constant threats of coups and destabilization moves, which adversely affect our economy, says Co.

A Presidential system of government is not suitable for the Philippines, Co stressed, adding that running for President would entail billions of pesos and potential leaders will be deprived the chance of running for the highest office. By amending the 1987 Constitution, there would be no more expensive national elections starting 2007.

He also said that there is no equal representation in the Presidential system. In the parliamentary system, if the Prime Minister commits immoral activities, he will be removed from office by vote of no confidence. The new Prime Minister would be elected by members of Parliament as head of government.

The signature campaign started last March 8 in the barangays and as of this week, we have gathered more than 30% signatures. We hope to gather up to 80% as the campaign is still ongoing, Reyvenido Cesar A. Lingating, Executive Assistant IV of the City Mayors Office said.

Mayor Co, who is a staunch advocate for Charter Change, strongly encourage all employees of the city government to affirm their signature as a sign of their support for Cha-Cha, for it is for the benefit of the people of Pagadian City.

Co ordered the chiefs of offices to send 2 or 3 employees of each department to the urban barangays of the city to conduct information campaign and explain the advantages of backing and supporting CHA-CHA.

The signature campaign will be intensified during the synchronized barangay assembly on March 25, where the official signing will be done to realize the 12% votes of the voting populace, Co added.

Liga ng mga Barangay President Bienvenido Culve said, Mayor Cos move will be completed with the united stand of the Vice Mayor, Sangguniang Panlungsod members, Barangay Officials and employees of the city government.

We assure an overwhelming support for the Constitutional reforms in our city with the help of my fellow barangay officials, Culve said, adding that the barangay chairmen have already expressed their all-out-support in the signature campaign so that the holding of a plebiscite for charter change will be realized in the middle of this year.

We always hope for the success of the signature campaign which will benefit every Filipino, Culve added. (PIA Pagadian)

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