People's initiative not realistic?
MANILA - A day after backing the proposed people's initiative (PI) to scrap the pork barrel system, House Speaker Sonny Belmonte on Thursday said such a scheme won't be realistic.
Retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno earlier proposed people’s initiative, or legislation by the public at large through the gathering of signatures in support of a measure, to scrap the pork barrel system.
Belmonte clarified his statement Wednesday. "I think PI, by itself, is a remote possibility. When I said I was in favor of it, I was in favor of trying but I wasn't optimistic it can succeed."
He pointed out the stringent requirements of a valid people’s initiative. “You need a vast organization to do that, not just getting 5 million votes in Metro Manila. Every district has to produce a minimum 3%. The number of people you require to sign, tedious verification of each signature, the time element, baka tapos na term ni PNoy 'di ka pa nakakakuha."
Belmonte also said that given the chance, he would also like to amend the economic provisions of the constitution through a people's initiative.
The Aquino administration has been cold to the idea of charter amendments.