Two opposition senators have castigated the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for pushing a Charter change signature drive amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Habang ang mga Pilipino ay wala ng makain at nawalan ng trabaho, isusubo natin itong Cha-cha?” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said in a statement.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic. The country is grappling to contain COVID-19 and deal with its aftermath. To talk about Cha-cha is the height of insensitivity,” he added.

The DILG is reportedly gathering up to 2 million signatures over the next two months to push for changes to the 1987 Constitution, to be submitted to Congress in July.

“The Congress and the executive branch should work together to pursue legislation that will help revive the economy and restore the jobs temporarily and permanently lost due to the pandemic. That should be the focus, not Cha-cha,” Drilon stressed.

Senator Francis Pangilinan echoed Drilon.

“Charter change should be the least of our concerns today. The current effort is out of touch with current realities and is an insult to millions of our citizens who have lost their jobs, who are experiencing unprecedented hunger and who continue to be threatened by the spread of this incurable disease,” he said in a separate statement.

“Instead of using govt money and personnel on collecting millions of signatures, the DILG should instead focus on mass testing and contact-tracing millions of our citizens both of which up until now remain to be undertaken in full two months after the law granting Malacañang special powers to use billions of pesos to address the pandemic was passed.” (