Palace won't stop Cha-cha train

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 12 2013 03:00 PM | Updated as of Jul 12 2013 11:00 PM

MANILA - Malacañang won’t stop Congress from discussing Charter change even if President Aquino does not see it as a priority.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Congress is free to tackle any issue that it sees fit but reiterated that there has been no change in the President’s position.

“Malaya naman po ang ating mga mambabatas na itulak po ang kahit anong inisyatibo na nasa ilalim ng batas na gusto po nila—or what we call… ‘yung mga advocacies po nila. Ngayon, wala pa naman po tayo doon sa stage na nagkaroon… po talaga ng—apart from the resolutions that were filed—something concrete that would show na it’s moving… We’ll answer that question when we actually face that situation,” Valte told reporters.

Quezon City Rep. Sonny Belmonte has revived his proposal to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution. The proposal has received the backing of House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

President Aquino earlier reiterated his position opposing calls for a change in the economic provisions of the Constitution. Aquino said that limiting foreign ownership of companies in the Philippines is not a hindrance to attracting foreign investors.

He also cited China’s experience where the economy has substantial growth despite limitations on foreign ownership.

“I think my stand has been public for the longest time. I don’t think they are a necessary detriment to getting foreign investments in this country,” he said.

He cited surveys that show foreign chambers are more concerned about the lack of infrastructure and the peace and order situation more than the restrictions on foreign ownership.