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Robin Padilla wants economic provisions in constitution amended via con-ass

Senator Robin Padilla on Wednesday filed Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 3 seeking to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution through a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass).

Padilla, chairman of Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, wanted to amend Section 2, 3, 7, 10 and 11 of Article XII of the 1987 Constitution as well as Section 4(2) of Article XIV, and Section 11(1) and (2) of Article XVI.

The proposed amendments include:

  • The State may undertake exploration, development and utilization of natural resources or may enter into co-production, joint venture or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens, or corporations at least 60% of whose capital is owned by such citizens, unless provided by law.
  • Private corporations may not hold alienable lands of the public domain except by lease for at most 25 years, renewable for not more than 25 years, and not to exceed 1,000 hectares, unless otherwise provided by law.
  • Congress may, by law, solely for the purpose of foreign direct investment allow aliens to acquire private lands not exceeding 1,000 square meters in area; and foreign-owned corporations to acquire rural private lands not exceeding five hectares in area.
  • Upon recommendation of the economic and planning agency, and when the national interest dictates, Congress shall reserve certain areas of investment to citizens of the Philippines or, unless otherwise provided by law, to corporations at least 60% of whose capital is owned by such citizens.
  • No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines at least 60% of whose capital is owned by such citizens, unless otherwise provided by law.
  • The participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital and all the executive and managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines, unless otherwise provided by law. 
  • Educational institutions other than those established by religious groups and mission boards shall be owned solely by Philippine citizens while the control and administration of educational institutions shall be vested in Philippine citizens, unless otherwise provided by law.
  • Ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to Philippine citizens and only Filipino citizens or corporations at least 70-percent owned by Filipinos shall be allowed to engage in the advertising industry, unless otherwise provided by law.

"These economic provisions perceived to be barriers to trade and investment responsible for the continuous decline of foreign direct investments," Padilla said in his resolution.

"To accelerate economic growth and fulfill its international commitment, the Philippines must amend its Constitution by removing these restrictive economic provisions to allow foreign businesses to directly invest in a more conducive landscape," he added.

The amendments will be done through the vote of three-fourths of member of Congress, with each House voting separately.

Under Section XVII of the 1987 Constitution, any amendment or revision to the Constitution may be proposed by Congress upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members or through a constitutional convention (con-con).

In a con-con, the people who will amend the charter will be elected by the people. —VAL, GMA Integrated News