Gatchalian Pushes for Tandem Vote for President, VP

To focus on issues, not personalities, senator says.
Photo/s: House of Representatives of the Philippines on Facebook

A measure has been filed in the Senate calling on the two houses of Congress to amend the 1987 Constitution to establish a single ticket system or tandem vote in electing the President and the Vice President.

In Resolution of Both Houses No. 3, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian proposed that the Senate and the House of Representatives, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members, with each chamber voting separately, amend Article VII, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution to mandate the election of the President and Vice President as a single ticket.

“By institutionalizing a single ticket for the President, the focus of election will shift from the personalities involved to the political party’s common and unified policy agenda and contribute to more programmatic political debate and more effective governance,” he said.

According to Gatchalian, there exists either animosity between the two highest officials in the country or a coalition of convenience whenever the elected president and vice president come from different political parties.

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This was shown in the last five elections which yielded a split ticket of the winning candidates, he added. Although former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and former Vice President Noli De Castro were running mates in the 2004 elections, they did not come from the same party.

“There is a need to strengthen the existing political party system by electing a President and a Vice President in the same ticket focused on addressing issues faced by the country and on improving the delivery of public services," Gatchalian said.

In amending Article VII, Section 4, Gatchalian also sought to explicitly state that each ticket for President and Vice President should be proposed "prior to holding of general elections by political parties or coalitions of political parties which are participants in the general elections."

The election returns to be transmitted to Congress for canvassing will also be as a single ticket. The ticket of candidates for President and Vice President that will receive the highest number of votes will be proclaimed elected, he added.

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A similar resolution was also filed by Pampanga Rep. Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales in the House of Representatives which proposes that a vote for the president would also be a vote for the vice presidential running mate. It also seeks longer terms for the position of president, vice president, congressmen, and some local officials.


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