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Economic provisions of Charter worth reviewing, Angara asserts

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The chairman of the Senate finance committee on Monday said the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution were “worth reviewing.”

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said amending such provisions might be timely to give the country “some flexibility” in those areas.

“The time might be right to revisit some of the provisions of the Constitution because it’s 1987—vintage [already]. You know that’s almost 40 years and the world has changed a lot from 1986 or ’87. The economic boundaries have come down,” Angara said in a television interview.

President Marcos last week said he ordered a study on the need to amend the Constitution to attract more foreign investments.

He said certain laws stemming from the 1987 Charter either ban or discourage foreign investors from doing business in the country.

“What we’re looking at here is the opportunity cost of those who would like to invest here but somehow the laws that derived from the constitution when it comes to the economic provisions do not allow them to, or make it non-viable for them,” Mr. Marcos said.

Earlier, Speaker Martin Romualdez said Congress is pushing to amend the 1987 Constitution next year.

“I believe 2024 will allow us again to revisit the whole issue of the Constitution because I think it’s timely that we revisit and I say we’d like to focus very much on the economic provisions,” Romualdez said.

Charter change, he said, was needed to unlock the country’s potential as an investment destination.

“Next year, we will focus our attention on studying and reviewing proposals that deal with the restrictions blocking the entry of foreign capital and investment in the Philippines,” Romualdez said.

“These include deliberations on proposed measures related to constitutional change,” he added.

For his part, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III said it will not be possible to exclude the Senate for the push to amend the Charter.

“Not involving the Senate and they believe that they can amend the Constitution? Impossible. That is not only unconstitutional, but also impossible,” Pimentel said in a separate television interview yesterday.

“If that is the attitude of our friends at the House, all the more they will really lose support of the senators,” he added,

Pimentel said only a “minority” of the 24 senators are supportive of amending the Constitution.

Under Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution, Charter change can be done through Congress upon a vote of three-fourth of all its members; through a constitutional convention; or through a people’s initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters therein.

Pimentel, a stalwart of PDP-Laban whose main advocacy is to push for a federal form of government, said he is supportive of amending the political provisions of the Constitution but not the economic provisions.


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