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House approves con-con bill on second reading

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on second reading House Bill 7352 which sets the composition of the constitutional convention (con-con) which will amend the 1987 Constitution.

House Bill 7352 or the con-con bill, which is the implementing bill of Resolution of Both Houses 6 calling for a con-con to amend the 1987 Constitution, also provides delegates a P10,000 per day of attendance compensation during con-con proceedings.

The con-con bill also provides that the con-con delegation will be composed of around 316 members, 80% of whom would be elected from congressional districts while 20% would be appointed by the President.

Con-con delegates’ terms of office would run from December 1 this year to June 30, 2024.

Aside from the P10,000 per day of attendance remuneration, each con-con delegate would also be entitled to necessary traveling and lodging expenses “to and from his place of residence when attending sessions of the Convention or any of its committees.”

House Bill 7352 also authorizes the Secretary of the Senate and the Secretary General of the House of Representatives to take charge of all arrangements for the convening of the con-con.

The commencement of con-con sessions, on the other hand, would start on December 1 this year at 10 a.m. in the Session Hall of the House of Representatives.

The bill also states that the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives will jointly preside at its opening until a presiding officer is elected by the Convention from among the delegates.

The con-con will also be deemed organized upon the election of the convention president and presiding officer, which shall be the first order of business.

The House on Monday approved on third and final reading Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 which calls for a constitutional convention (con-con) to amend the 1987 Constitution.

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.

The resolution stated that among the three modes of proposing amendments to the Charter, the calling of a convention “would be the most transparent, exhaustive, democratic, and least divisive means of implementing constitutional reforms.”

It also further said that such reform has been identified by reputable business and economic groups as a key policy instrument that needs to be implemented, and that these organizations feel that the economic reform by way of constitutional amendments “is now long overdue.” —with Richa Noriega/ DVM/NB, GMA Integrated News