Several members of President Marcos’s Cabinet have expressed support for the initiative of the House of Representatives to rewrite the Constitution’s “restrictive” economic provisions, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez disclosed on Wednesday.
“We are encouraged by the statements/position papers of members of the President’s economic team and of the Cabinet who share our desire and goal for the country to attract more foreign investments through economic reform in the Constitution,” he said.
Rodriguez, who chairs the House committee on constitutional amendments, said the latest economic team member to support the House constitutional amendment push is Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
“We are heartened by Secretary Diokno’s supportive statement. He is an influential voice in the administration and in the business community,” he added.
The lawmaker also cited the position papers presented to his committee by Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual, National Economic and Development Authority Director-General Alfredo Balisacan, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo.
The five departments were among the departments of government officially requested by the Rodriguez committee to present their positions on Charter Change in recent public hearings held at the House of Representatives.
Rodriguez said local government units grouped under Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, led by Quirino Gov. Dakila Cua, have also supported the House initiative.
Rodriguez said the economic team of former President Rodrigo Duterte, led by then finance secretary Carlos Dominguez, had likewise backed efforts to change the Charter’s economic provisions.
Sen. Robin Padilla meanwhile appealed to the leadership of the Senate for a “collaborative effort” with the House of Representatives in deliberating on the preferred mode of amending economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
He made the appeal in letters sent to Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, and Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. With Macon Ramos-Araneta
He noted House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez had expressed openness for the House to discuss with the Senate the mode of amending the Constitution, particularly through a constituent assembly.
Earlier, Padilla chaired eight hybrid public hearings of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes to take up proposed amendments to the Charter’s economic amendments. The hearings were held in the Senate and in Baguio, Davao and Cebu Cities.
Padilla is pushing for amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution, via a constituent assembly timed with the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections this October. With Macon Ramos-Araneta