THE HOUSE committee on constitutional amendments will suspend hearings on proposed changes to the 1987 Constitution pending the country’s battle against COVID-19.

“I am inclined to recommend to the Speaker that we shelve Charter change indefinitely so we can focus on measures to fight this pandemic,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez, who heads the committee, said in a statement on Thursday.

He said House Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano would favor his recommendation “since he has repeatedly declared that he wants us to work on COVID-19-related measures without any divisive issues distracting us.”

Charter change supporters identified with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) have reportedly resumed their signature campaign for constitutional changes.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año, a member of an inter-agency task force fighting the pandemic, has reportedly distanced himself from the campaign.

“This is not the time for the DILG and its allies to relaunch their signature drive and renew their push for Cha-cha,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “They should postpone it until this health crisis is over.” — Genshen L. Espedido