People’s support for Charter change ‘nowhere to go but up’
(UPDATE) MALACAÑANG believes the people’s acceptance for the Palace-backed Charter change initiative has nowhere to go but up after an independent survey showed 40 percent of Filipinos were in favor of amending the 1987 Constitution.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said there was a "good opportunity" that more people would eventually favor amending the Charter, citing a heightened drive by a Malacañang-formed advocacy commission to court public support for it.
"The Charter change advocacy commission is at work all over Metro Manila and the Philippines," he told reporters.
Support for Charter change nearly doubled from the previous 23 percent poll results.
The commission has been touring the country, courting support for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's proposed shift to a parliamentary-unitary form of government, from the current presidential-bicameral system.
A nationwide survey by the private polling group Pulse Asia Inc. released Wednesday showed that 40 percent of Filipinos said they were in favor of amending the Charter, 38 percent said they were not, and 21 percent were undecided.
In a separate news briefing, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye expressed optimism that "prospects are improving" for the Charter change drive.
"The prospects are improving for Charter change as the great debate expands through all sectors and levels," he said, adding they would welcome all views and arguments on the issue.
The survey also showed that 48 percent wanted the Constitution changed through the people's initiative, 28 percent through a constituent assembly, and 23 percent through a constitutional convention.
Arroyo sought to rewrite the Constitution following the worst storm in her political career, brought about by allegations she rigged the 2004 presidential polls.