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Reso on Cha-cha via constitutional convention passed in House

The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 6 which calls for a constitutional convention (con-con) to amend the 1987 Constitution.

RBH No. 6 received 301 yes votes, six no votes and one abstention.

Speaker Martin Romualdez said the House aimed to limit the Charter change (Cha-cha) initiative to the economic provisions of the constitution “to attract more foreign investments.”

“We need additional investments that would create more job and income
opportunities for our people. We need increased capital to sustain our
economic growth momentum,” Romualdez said.

RBH No. 6 is principally authored by Romualdez, Majority Leader Manuel Jose
“Mannix” M. Dalipe, Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, the Kapatiran Party, and Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, the chair of the House 
Committee on Constitutional Amendments.

"With this great number, we can now be likened to the 300 Spartans that made a last stand in the Battle of Thermopylae,” Rodriguez said.

RBH No. 6 states that a con-con—with delegates will be elected to draft the new constitution, “would be the most transparent, exhaustive, democratic, and least divisive means of implementing constitutional reforms.”

Villafuerte said there would be no dramatic increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows unless the Constitution’s restrictive economic provision on limited participation of overseas investors is lifted.

“This 40% ownership cap on foreigners in our inward-looking Constitution has long been the deal-breaker for prospective investors. If you will look at it, one main source of poverty in the Philippines is our low agricultural output,” Villafuete said on television. 

"There's a lot of idle land in the country. We need foreign capital and  foreign technology to harness such idle lands. So in order to have more foreign capital flowing  into the country, we should allow ownership as part of the menu for investors,” he added.

Opposition lawmakers said Cha-cha  should be phased out, not the traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJs) for the modernization program.

“Charter change is not what the people need. We need to address the problems of our PUJ drivers, and the workers’ demand for increased wages,” Castro said in an interview.

“This Cha-cha is out of tune, and yet, the leadership is decisive in pursuing this. This appears to have the President’s support, even if he says otherwise,” Castro added.

In a separate statement, the Makabayan bloc lawmakers said it would be the height of callousness and insensitivity for the House to continue deliberating on Cha-cha that is not even among the top concerns of Filipinos while commuters are stranded and drivers are to go jobless.

“To be more proactive, we suggest that Congress should instead use the session days during the transport strike  to deliberate on what measures can be done to support drivers and operators as well as alleviate the transportation problems of our country,” they added.

GMA News Online is trying to get comment from the House leaders as regards the remarks made by the opposition in the House. —NB, GMA Integrated News