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Senate panel wraps up hearing on Cha-cha

The Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes on Thursday wrapped up its public hearings on the proposed measures seeking to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

At a deliberation in Cebu City, Senator Robinhood Padilla, chairperson of the Senate panel, said he would continue to push for the economic charter change (Cha-cha)  “despite criticisms from some sectors”.

"Bilang inyo pong inihalal ng taong bayan, kami po ay obligado na gawin ito kahit na marami po ang kumukutya sa amin, marami po ang gustong pumigil sa amin. Kailangan naming gawin ito para sa inyo,” he said.

(As elected officials, we are obligated to do this despite criticism from some sectors. We are doing this for you.)

In February, the legislator filed Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No.  3 which seeks to amend the Constitution's “prohibitive economic provisions”.

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

However, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said it confuses him why legislators from the Lower Chamber are rushing the Senate to act on proposals for cha-cha, reiterating that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had already said that it is not a priority of the administration.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez, however, replied to Zubiri by saying that the "rush" in approving measures seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution will benefit the country.

Meanwhile, Padilla said he would hold a hearing with the House on Monday, March 20, 2023, to discuss if the proposed Cha-cha would be done through con-con or con-ass.

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.

The senator hopes to file a committee report on the amendment as soon as possible and have it ratified via a plebiscite in time for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October. —VAL, GMA Integrated News