Malacañang on Wednesday said Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s proposal to extend the presidential line of succession and allow the president to name a “designated survivor” was reasonable as it addresses a possible scenario.

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said Lacson’s bill would address the scenario of all four highest-ranking officials of the country dying at the same time.

Under the 1987 Constitution, the vice president, Senate president and House speaker, in respective order, are in line to replace the president in the event of death or disability.

The “designated survivor” bill drew inspiration from the American TV series of the same name, where a housing and urban development secretary became US president after an attack killed everyone in the government above him in the presidential line of succession.

In case the fictional scenario comes true, Lacson’s bill adds the following to the presidential line of succession:

  1. most senior senator, based on the length of service in the Senate;
  2. the most senior representative based on the length of service in the House of Representatives;
  3. the member of the Cabinet designated by the president.

“[W]hile the TV series is based on fiction where everyone in government explodes away… that scenario should be addressed,” Roque said.

“We have a clear line of succession all the way down to the House speaker but what happens in fact if similar to what happened in the TV series, everyone perishes. So perhaps there is definitely wisdom in the bill,” he added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro