A lawmaker on Thursday appealed to the leadership of the House of Representatives to set aside economic Charter Change when senators appear in no mood to tackle the measure in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic shocks.
“It’s practically dead in the water,” Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said of the Resolution of Both Houses 2.
Villafuerte’s statement came in reaction to a media report that no less than Senate President Vicente Sotto III was quoted as saying that the Senate does not intend to take up constitutional reform at the moment.
“So what’s the point for the chamber’s leadership to fritter away the time and attention of House members on RBH 2 when it seems that Cha-Cha has a zero chance of making it to first base in the Senate?” Villafuerte said.
“We in the House would do well to rather focus at this time on the measures to help the national government deal with the priority concerns of Covid-19 response and economic recovery.”
After a two-week deferment, the plenary discussions in the House were opened this week on RHB 2, the measure primarily sponsored by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco that seeks to amend the 1987 Charter, particularly its restrictive economic provisions believed to have handicapped the flow of foreign direct investments.
Sought for comment on whether the Senate would follow the House in tackling Cha-Cha, Sotto was quoted in a media report as saying, “Not at the moment.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto and Minority Leader Franklin Drilon were also quoted in the same report as opposing Cha-Cha at this point, while Senator Imee Marcos reportedly doubted if there was the same House support to amend the Constitution at this time in the Senate.