Belmonte continues to pursue amendments to Constitution


Posted at Jul 27 2014 04:43 PM | Updated as of Jul 28 2014 12:43 AM

MANILA -- House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. will continue to pursue amendments to the Constitution as Congress opens anew on Monday.

Belmonte, in a statement, said he will work on his personal advocacy to amend the economic provisions in the Constitution to spur direct foreign investments.

He also revealed a reform package meant to improve the economy and introduce inclusive growth.

“This reform package is intended to improve the business climate, create jobs, reduce poverty and foster transparency and accountability, all from the perspective of our journey towards inclusive growth,” he said.

The list includes: 1) measures to strengthen and enhance the functions of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; 2) updating the Tariff and Customs Code to facilitate and curb abuses and corruption in the Bureau of Customs; 3) the proposed amendments to the Foreign Investment Act to facilitate the lowering of minimum paid-in capital for foreign equity, and removing divestiture requirements for foreign investors; and 4) pursuing a Competition Policy to complement ongoing market-oriented reforms and institutionalize an effective domestic competition regime at all industry levels.

Belmonte said the Lower House will also pursue infrastructure-related policy reforms, which include amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer Law, Economic Sabotage Law, and the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA).

“At the same time, we shall rationalize and promote transparency in the grant of fiscal incentives, focusing on the objective of trade facilitation and investment promotion without prejudice to fiscal prudence,” he said.

He also committed to passing the Freedom of Information Act to “foster greater transparency and accountability in the government.”

Belmonte urged each and every Filipino to take advantage of opportunities rather than dwell on the past, saying “the attainment of all-inclusive growth remains a challenge for us all.”