The pledges that President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has secured during his foreign trips will be for nothing without amending the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution, Senator Robin Padilla said Monday.
The chairman of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes issued the statement after Marcos said Charter change is not a priority of his administration.
"I have heard from past presidents that they are not prioritizing amending the Constitution, particularly its economic provisions. It is sad because if we do not make the needed changes to the Charter's economic provisions, ordinary Filipinos will not feel the benefits of progress for our Motherland, or of improvements in their lot in life," Padilla said.
"The Foreign Direct Investments that we badly need cannot come true without the proper provisions from our Constitution. And most of the pledges by foreign investors from our leaders' foreign trips will not materialize," he added.
Despite the President's statement and the resistance of other senators to support Charter change, Padilla said he will still conduct hearings on the measure which seeks to revise the Constitution.
"As the President's senatorial candidate in UniTeam, I support all his priority legislation. That said, I will pursue my own advocacies, with or without the President's support, because that is my obligation to the people - and I will stay the course in the Senate, as part of our democracy," he said.
"Whether or not my fellow senators support my advocacy, it is important that the people know why our growth as a nation has been held back - and what must be done to address this," he added.
Last Wednesday, Padilla filed Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 3 seeking to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution through a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass).
In filing the resolution, Padilla said the economic provisions must be amended to "allow foreign businesses to directly invest in a more conducive landscape" and "to accelerate economic growth and fulfill its international commitment."
A day after filing the measure, at least three senior senators have expressed their opposition to the proposed charter amendments, with two of them saying that the restrictive provisions can be addressed by several legislations that were passed during the 18th Congress.—AOL, GMA Integrated News