Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


[B-SIDE Podcast] The danger of dynasties

Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-Side

Antonio G. M. La Viña, a constitutional law professor at the University of the Philippines, thinks that the Philippine Constitutional Commission of 1986 made a mistake in giving Congress the power to decide on the prohibition of political dynasties instead of imposing limitations right then and there.

In this B-Side episode, Mr. La Viña talks to BusinessWorld reporter Patricia B. Mirasol about family dynasties, federalism, and structural change.

This is third and final episode in an Explainer series that previously featured Bernardo M. Villegas, an economist and one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, and Norberto B. Gonzales, a former National Defense Secretary and National Security Adviser who ran for president in the 2022 elections.


Since congress has no incentive to amend the Constitution, a constitutional convention is a better option.

“Congress cannot be trusted to change the Constitution, because there’s self-interest there,” Mr. La Viña said, noting that 60%–70% of the lawmaking body is controlled by political families. “We have all of these husbands and wives and daughters and sons in multiple positions. It’s scandalous.”

The better avenue, he pointed out, is a constitutional convention or a body composed of elected representatives created solely to propose amendments or revisions.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ruled that a people’s initiative — in which 12% of the total registered voters with every legislative district represented by at least 3% of registered voters therein — can only be used for purposes of amendments, and not a wholesale revision of the constitution.

There is a ‘right time’ for changing the Constitution.

First is when a country is in a serious crisis, such as when the president is sick or there is a budget deadlock, Mr. La Viña said.

The second is a matter of timing.

“Our experience is that we can only change the Constitution during the first two years of the presidency,” he told BusinessWorld. “After that, it’s all about politics going into the presidential elections … Nobody’s interested anymore in good structural change; it’s all about positioning of families and individuals.”

Federalism is dangerous without prohibiting political dynasties.

Federalism is dangerous without an anti-dynasty provision as it will allow families to control each region, thereby dividing the Philippines even more, Mr. La Viña said.

This episode was recorded in September 2022 at the Manila Observatory in Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. Produced by Joseph Emmanuel L. Garcia and Sam L. Marcelo.

Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-Side

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States is seeking to form a coalition of countries to drive negotiations on a global...


Buildings are seen along EDSA in Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN By Diego Gabriel C. Robles  THE WORLD BANK (WB) upgraded...


Heavy traffic is seen on the southbound lane of EDSA in Cubao, Quezon City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN THE PHILIPPINE auto industry’s...


REUTERS THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) may deliver a second off-cycle rate hike in early November when the US Federal Reserve is expected...


Vendors arrange their goods at a public market in Manila. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSEL A. PALMA THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) is planning to...

Editor’s Pick

With the reversal of the 1.25% rise in National Insurance Contributions happening on the 6th of November, employers across the nation have an opportunity...

You May Also Like


BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...


KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...


REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...


COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

Disclaimer: Respect, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.