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Romualdez: House to focus on easing restrictions, Cha-cha in 2024

The House of Representatives in 2024 will "focus its attention" on proposals regarding restrictions in the entry of foreign capital and investments including Charter change (Cha-cha), Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Wednesday night.

In a speech before the House adjourned its session until January 22, 2024, Romualdez indicated that Cha-cha was needed to unlock the country's potential as an investment destination.

“Next year, we will focus our attention on studying and reviewing proposals that deal with the restrictions blocking the entry of foreign capital and investment in the Philippines," Romualdez said.

"These include deliberations on proposed measures related to Constitutional change,” he added.

Romualdez said Congress would "champion the cause of revisiting our present Constitution, a cause that is the key to unlocking the vast potential of the Philippine economy.” 

Romualdez said the House would be relentless in such pursuit and ensure that Cha-cha would result in tangible benefits for Filipinos.

“Gagawin natin ang lahat para buksan ang ating ekonomiya sa mamumuhunan. Pag-aaralan natin lahat ng paraan paano makikinabang ang tao sa pag amyenda ng Konstitusyon,” he pointed out.

(We will look at every opportunity to open our economy to investors. We will study all the ways to ensure that Cha-cha will result in gains for the people.) 

Earlier in the day, Senator Imee Marcos said that the House’s push for Charter Change could be because someone wants to be a Prime Minister.

In a separate interview, House Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales, Jr. of Pampanga said that the House’s campaign Charter Change is not about a person having ambitions of being Prime Minister.

“Wala akong naririnig na Prime Minister. Wala kaming pinag-uusapang Prime Minister,” Gonzales said.

The House of Representatives in March 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 states that a con-con—with delegates to be elected to draft the new constitution, “would be the most transparent, exhaustive, democratic, and least divisive means of implementing constitutional reforms.”

Charter change initiatives in the Senate, however, continue to gather dust in the Senate even if the House’s RBH 6 only covers amendments on the economic provisions, particularly the 40% limit on foreign ownership of vital industries, including public utilities. —NB, GMA Integrated News