SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
13 January 2021 02:53:55 PM
House Committee on Constitutional Amendments Chair Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. (Party-list, AKO BICOL) on Wednesday, assured that their panel would tackle strictly only the restrictive economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. Amid concerns that committee deliberations would veer into political provisions of the Constitution, Garbin maintained that the committee is only concerned with proposed amendments to Articles II, XIV and XVI of the Constitution. “No political provisions. Walang term extension dito. Walang abolition of term limits,” Garbin said. In his opening remarks, Garbin also highlighted the need to open up the Philippine economy to rebuild it amid the pandemic. “We need laws that vastly improve the climate for business and industry,” he said. The proposed amendments, especially those seeking to ease restrictions on foreign direct investments, received the strong support of guest resource persons. Top economist Gerardo Sicat said that economic reforms at the Constitutional level signals to foreign investors that the Philippine economy is improving. “We have to lay the foundation for making the Constitution more progressive in attacking new reforms that will help the country move forward even better,” Sicat said. Former National Economic Development Authority chief Ernesto Pernia likewise said that easing limitations would not only speed up economic recovery, but also improve the quality of growth. Meanwhile, Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya formally turned over the signature of 555,160 Filipinos who approve of the surgical amendments to the Constitution. Malaya said the signatures, which were garnered through a signature campaign at the grassroots level prior the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence the support for constitutional amendments, especially those on restrictive economic provisions. The hearing was based on Resolution of Both Houses 2, filed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.