Palace rejects proposal to create commission that will study possibility of changing country’s name

Propose a bill containing the suggested name instead, Palace says

(Eagle News)—The Palace on Tuesday, Feb. 12, thumbed down the proposal to create a commission that would study the feasibility of changing the country’s name.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said instead of creating a Geographic Renaming Commission, as proposed by Rep. Gary Alejano, the suggested name could be directly deliberated on in Congress.

“If the Constitution says you can enact a law, why do you have to create a commission? By proposing a bill then magde-deliberate yan sa Congress lahat ng mga players puwede niyang imbitahan. Diretso na,” Panelo said.

Panelo was referring to Article XVI of the 1987 Constitution that says that Congress may “adopt a new name for the country, a national anthem, or a national seal, which shall all be truly reflective and symbolic of the ideals, history, and traditions of the people.”

For the change to take effect, a ratification of the proposal by the people is needed.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his agreement with then-President Ferdinand Marcos that the country’s name  be changed to Maharlika instead.

In making the proposal, Duterte noted the colonial vestiges in the name the Philippines, noting that this was derived from the name of a Spanish monarch who funded the expedition that allowed for the “discovery” of the country.

Under House Bill 5867, Alejano said  the commission, which would “study the possibility and the feasibility of renaming our country,” would come out with a name that should “appropriately address and define us as a people and nation.”