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Monday, July 15, 2024

Survey should prompt Senate to pass econ Cha-cha, solons say

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Three top leaders of the House of Representatives have welcomed the result of a new nationwide survey showing 57 percent of Filipinos support proposed amendments to the Constitution.

Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Deputy Speaker and Quezon Rep. David Suarez, and Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe said the survey “should prompt the new Senate leadership to pass the amendment proposals ASAP.”  

Gonzales said the poll taken by big data research firm Tangere from May 21 to 25 showed “more than majority support for economic Charter amendments.”

“I think the Senate should listen to the people’s voice. New Senate President Francis Escudero should do what his predecessor failed to do, and they should do it as soon as possible,” he said.

The House of Representatives had passed the Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 7, its version of economic Charter change, in March. The Senate version, RBH 6, is still pending.  

Gonzales said RBH 6 “is now in limbo in the wake of the recent Senate shakeup.”

He said the public consultations that the Senate special committee on constitutional amendments has been conducting have been disrupted with the resignation of committee chairman Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, who belongs to the bloc of former Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.

“We don’t know what will happen to RBH 6, since that resolution is authored by Senators Zubiri, Angara and Loren Legarda, who has also resigned her Senate post,” he said.

Suarez said the Escudero leadership “should pick up the pieces from the recent Senate ruckus and work on the passage of RBH 6 as early as possible.”

“So far, new Senate President Escudero has spoken on a lot of things, except the proposed economic constitutional amendments,” he said.  

For his part, Dalipe said the Senate can pass RBH 6 shortly after the convening of the third and last regular session of the 19th Congress in July.

“But senators have to realize that the window of opportunity for them to approve economic Charter reforms is fast closing,” he said.

He said lawmakers and the public would be on campaign-election mode once candidates file their certificates of candidacy in October for the May 2025 elections.

The Tangere survey, with 1,500 participants nationwide, showed that support for economic Charter amendments increased by two percentage points from the previous month’s level.

Tangere noted strong support among respondents from Metro Manila, Southern Luzon, and Bicol Region.

Six to seven in 10 respondents believed in the advantages of the amendment proposals, including the creation of more jobs (72 percent), higher economic growth (68 percent), increase in salaries and work benefits (67 percent), and decrease in the prices of goods and services (63 percent).

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