The social action arm of the Catholic Church in the Philippines called on the government to prioritize addressing pressing social issues rather than allocating efforts toward constitutional changes.
Caritas Philippines made the demand after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) suspended the people’s initiative for Charter change.
On Jan. 29, Comelec Chair George Garcia told reporters that the Commission “decided to suspend any and all proceedings concerning the people’s initiative”.
“We have directed our local Comelec offices, our election officers in cities and municipalities to stop receiving signature sheets,” he said.
Caritas Philippines said it recognizes the right of any person to propose amendments to the Constitution but it stressed that “addressing issues like poverty, corruption, and environmental degradation should be paramount”.
“Investing time and resources into revising the Constitution while these issues remain unaddressed would be detrimental to national progress,” it added.
Caritas Philippines urged the government “to channel its efforts into tangible actions” that provide for the people and “contribute to a just and equitable society”.
The organization vowed to engage in constructive dialogue with the government and other stakeholders, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding the integrity of the Constitution and the democratic processes it upholds.
“We believe that focusing on the immediate needs of the Filipino people is the most responsible and effective path forward,” the statement read.