Moves to amend Constitution kicks off at Senate, House

Moves to amend the 1987 Constitution are kicking off in the Senate and House of Representatives.

At the Senate, Senators Francis Tolentino and Ronald “Bato” Dela  Rosa have filed Senate Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 convening Congress as a constituent assembly (Con-ass) to introduce “limited amendments” to the 1987 Constitution. They filed the resolution last December 7, 2020.

At the House, Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., chair of the House committee on constitutional amendments, said discussions are set to resume to revise the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

The resolution of Tolentino and Dela Rosa stated that revisions or changes must be introduced to the 1987 Constitution “in order to aid the country in achieving economic growth, especially during this time of rising global uncertainty.”

“Against the backdrop mounting economic and health concerns brought about by the pandemic, it is important to ensure that the subsequent national policies and strategies for the rehabilitation of our nation be responsive to the needs of our people in order to bring about genuine economic growth and sustainable development,” the senators said in the resolution.

At the lower chamber, resumption to discuss Charter change or Cha-cha emerged after House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco met with Garbin and other House leaders, including Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez.

“Ours is a 33-year old Constitution and if you look at the restrictive economic provisions, we’re lagging behind—foreign direct investments,” Garbin told a national daily.

Moves to allow 100-percent foreign participation or ownership in certain businesses and industries have been considered to attract more foreign investments into the country. At present, foreigners can own only up to 40 percent equity in corporations. SOVEREIGNPH

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