Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

House body endorses Charter ownership easing

A HOUSE of Representatives committee on Tuesday adopted a resolution allowing Congress to lift restrictive economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution, supposedly to help the Philippine economy recover amid a coronavirus pandemic.

Voting 64 to three with three abstentions, the House committee on constitutional amendments agreed to insert the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in parts of the Charter that limit foreign ownership in certain Philippine industries, according to a statement posted on the House website.

This will allow Congress to pass a law later relaxing ownership limits.

Lawmakers agreed not to touch a section of the basic law that bars foreigners from owning land, the House said.

The changes will be made under three articles on the national patrimony and economy; education, science and technology; and general provisions, for a total of seven changes.

Party-list Rep Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr., who heads the committee, told reporters in a Viber group message he would sponsor the Charter change proposal in plenary as early as next week.

The voting coincided with the 34th anniversary of the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, which he described as a “living Constitution” that is “far from being perfect.”

“When the people ratified the 1987 Constitution containing limitations on foreign ownership and participation in certain economic activities, it was their desire at that time to make the limitations specific,” he said in the statement. “However, the Constitution is not unchangeable.”

“It is about time we correct this unintended anomaly by introducing an amendment that gives the Legislature the freedom to amend those time-bound laws that have been enshrined in the Constitution to the detriment of the common good of the Filipinos now and in the future,” Mr. Garbin said.

Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco, who authored the resolution, wants to liberalize the economic restrictions in the Charter and let Congress enact laws that will free up the economy to foreign investors.

Mr. Velasco said foreign investment plays a crucial role in the Philippine economy by supporting domestic jobs and creating physical and knowledge capital across a range of industries.

“The need to attract foreign capital is critical to support our economy’s recovery from COVID-19,” he said in the statement.

Mr. Velasco’s resolution was backed by all major political parties and power blocs in the House, according to the House statement.

‘HIGHEST BIDDER’
Lawmakers who voted no said Charter change was “ill-timed” and would affect Filipino businesses.

“If Charter change pushes through now, foreigners would have a heyday and gobble up wholesale of what is left in our already much liberalized economy,” Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate said in a statement.

“Our national patrimony would  be put on sale to the highest foreign bidder at the further expense of our local industries,” he added.

Lifting foreign investment restrictions could improve foreign direct investment inflows (FDI), particularly in restricted sectors, the House said, citing some economists.

Easing the restrictions could lead to an additional average annual FDI of P330 billion pesos ($6.8 billion) and generate 6.6 million jobs over 10 years, it added, citing Bicol Rep. Jose Maria Clemente S. Salceda.

Party-list Rep. Michael Edgar Y. Aglipay, one of the House leaders involved in the preparation for “Cha-cha” hearings, earlier said lawmakers would not try to change political provisions of the Constitution.

He said they wanted to form a constituent assembly by the end of the month. A plebiscite for proposed changes could coincide with the presidential elections in May 2022, he added.

Opposition senators last month thumbed down the fresh Charter change push at the House, saying it was likely to fail and waste lawmakers’ time.

Senator Franklin M. Drilon said Charter change has a zero chance of success in any administration that is already in the home stretch. President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s six-year term will end next year. He is barred by law from running for reelection.

Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, who heads the committee on constitutional amendments, had also questioned the timing of the Charter change push.

Harry L. Roque, Mr. Duterte’s spokesman, has said Charter change is the last thing on the President’s mind, adding that Mr. Duterte would rather focus on battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III earlier said Charter amendments would have a better chance of hurdling the chamber if these are limited to changing the party-list system and easing economic restrictions. — Norman P. Aquino and Gillian M. Cortez

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Investing

People living in rural areas are having to travel further to find somewhere to withdraw and deposit cash free of charge, says the City...

Investing

Ministers have ruled out extending the list of workers who are exempt from self-isolation rules and warned that the August 16 date for lifting...

Economy

The House of Representatives will adopt the Senate’s version of the proposed measure taxing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO), a key lawmaker said on...

Economy

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday approved the recommendation of his pandemic task force to enforce stricter quarantine rules in Manila, the capital, and...

Economy

Thirty-seven percent of Filipinos are optimistic that their lives will improve over the next 12 months, a non-commissioned survey shows.  Of the 1,200 respondents in Social Weather Stations’...

Economy

Six electricity consumers on Friday filed a complaint with the Ombudsman against Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, alleging that the government official has neglected his duties.  “In his five...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., will rely on ally countries to supply the bulk of the metals needed to build electric vehicles and focus on...

Investing

As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Economy

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned the public from investing or to stop any investment in a group named Maxxprofit Computer Trading...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.



Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!