After three readings and much deliberation, the constitutional draft was finally turned over to the SAMAHAN Central Board (SCB) by the Constitutional Commission (ConCom) today, 3:40 PM at F305.
“We need to update our constitution kasi lumang-luma na siya,” said ConCom chairperson Francis Gabrielle Martinez. Currently, the SAMAHAN adheres to the 1982 Constitution, one that has been in existence for over 30 years.
With the 12 commissioners present, the turnover ceremony was approved by Martinez, who was also the presiding officer in the said meeting. The commissioners then passed the draft on to the SAMAHAN, headed by its President Regel Asuero. As of now, the SCB will review the draft for discrepancies.
The draft will be approved online this Friday, Asuero said. This will allow the students to read the draft themselves. SAMAHAN will then pass it on to the Student Activities Committee (SAC). Afterwards, the SAC will check if there are provisions that contradict the policies of the university. As soon as the SAC approves the draft, the official SAMAHAN Constitution will be subject for plebiscite, in which the approval of at least 60% of the student population will be needed to amend the 1982 constitution.
Though the SAMAHAN tried to have the plebiscite this first semester, they were not able to achieve this due to time constraints. Nonetheless, the voting is set to happen on November.
“Welcome to a new chapter of our student government. We will really make this happen. Help us. Let’s work hand in hand,” Asuero proclaimed.
When asked about his sentiment regarding the new constitution, JV Velasco, an Accountancy student, said, “Amending the constitution does not guarantee participation of the student body. Moreover, this may be used by people who initiated it and use it on their own interest. Apathy among the students, which is a serious problem, must be discouraged and encouraging them to be actively involved in the said amendment will give fair and meaningful results.”