Clamor for economic Charter change grows

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 18 2015 09:31 AM | Updated as of Jul 18 2015 05:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Trade Foundation (PTF) has joined the clamor for amendments to economic restrictions in the 1987 Constitution, particularly with the Asean Economic Community integrating soon.

PTF president Tony Lopa said the Aquino administration should support calls to amend the economic provision of the Constitution.

By relaxing limitations on foreign ownership, he said the Philippines will not only be able to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but will also be able to maximize benefits from the Asean integration and create much needed jobs for the Filipino people.

The TPP is a proposed regional regulatory and investment treaty expected to eliminate tariffs on a wide range of goods and services, as well as set standards and harmonize regulations on issues such as intellectual property, environment protection and labor rights.

“However, regardless of the interest surrounding the TPP, restrictions in the Philippine Constitution, such as limits on foreign ownership in certain sectors, is hindering the country’s participation,” the PTF said in position paper.

For inclusive growth, the country needs to further accelerate the velocity of the economy by instituting a more open policy regime that nurtures a globally competitive investment climate and must be sustained beyond political timelines.

As such, the PTF said it is supporting the passage of pending measures in Congress that seek to amend the 1987 Constitution to include the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” to certain portions of its economic provisions.

PTF, which includes some of the most respected business leaders in the country, aims to establish a reformed business environment to attract new and domestic foreign investments to the country, and encourage the business sector to engage investors in long-term partnerships and investments in the Philippines.

Members of the Board of Trustees include Tonyboy Cojuangco, who serves as Chairman of the Board; Susing Pineda (Vice Chairman); Tony Lopa (President); and Babe Romualdez (Executive Vice President).

Other board of trustees and officers include Ricky Razon, Tito Ortiz, Tony Tan Caktiong, Gigi Montinola, Fred Yao, Yosi Tanco, Tony Tuviera, Beaver Lopez, Fausto Preysler Jr., Mike Varela, Elizabeth Lee, Opap Villonco Annie Tan-Yee and RP Manhit.

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