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Romualdez defends House's 'rush' for Cha-cha

Speaker Martin Romualdez on Wednesday defended the House of Representatives' "rush" in approving measures seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution, saying it will benefit the country. 

Romualdez was responding to the comments made by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri questioning the House’s rush in approving measures seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution.

“Kung nagta-trabaho man kami ng mabilis, ito ay dahil interes ng mamamayan ang nakataya. Hindi pulitika, kundi ekonomiya ng bansa. Hindi eleksyon, kundi misyon na iahon ang mga kababayan natin sa kahirapan,” Romualdez said in a statement.

(If we are working at a fast pace, this is because it is public interest at stake. This is not about politics, but the economy. This is not about elections, but alleviating the plight of the poor.)

“Kailan pa naging kasalanan ang mag-trabaho nang mabilis para sa bayan?"

(Since when working double time for the public became a sin?)

Zubiri made the comments since the House, in two weeks time, already approved on third and final reading both the Resolution of Both Houses 6 calling for constitutional convention (con-con) to amend the 1987 Constitution and the House Bill 7352 or Con-con bill which provides for composition of the Con-con and P10,000 remuneration per day of attendance of each con-con delegate.

“Yes, the 301 House members who co-authored the twin resolutions are in a rush to amend these restrictive provisions of the Constitution. Just as we, in the House of Representatives, are in a rush to approve priority measures agreed upon in the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory meetings to give flesh to the 8-Point Socio-Economic Agenda of the national government,” Romualdez explained.

Romualdez argued that the country is facing tough competition and that attracting foreign investments is needed to encourage more business activities that will create high-paying and quality jobs for Filipinos here in the country.

“When we passed the twin resolutions on the proposed Constitutional Convention, our mission was clear: we need to amend the restrictive provisions of the Constitution that prohibit the entry of foreign direct investments in the Philippines,” Romualdez added.

Romualdez, however, clarified that immediate action does not compromise the quality of House’s legislative work.

“Let me make it clear. All legislative measures approved in the House of Representatives were deliberated extensively and exhaustively — from the committee level to plenary sessions. All voices were heard before we take a vote. Lahat ng ito, dumaan sa tamang proseso at masusing pag-aaral,” Romualdez said.

(Everything went through the proper process and extensive study.)

Such immediate action on pending bills concerning the benefit of the public, Romualdez said, should not be taken against the House.

Zubiri earlier said that the Charter change is not a Senate priority and it is unlikely to gain support from senators. 

However, Cagayan de Oro Representative on Monday called on the Senate to act on proposals seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution saying the Senate can't ignore the 'overwhelming' support for Cha-cha —VAL, GMA Integrated News