House to resume charter change hearings

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 06 2021 10:59 PM

Leaders of the House of Representatives met on Wednesday to discuss the resumption of hearings on the proposed charter change. Photo from Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin.

MANILA - The House of Representatives is set to resume its hearings to tackle the proposed charter change, Ako Bicol partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin said Wednesday.

Garbin, who heads the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, said House leaders met during the day to discuss the resumption of the hearings.

 

“The directive of the Speaker is to tackle proposed amendments to restrictive economic provisions,” Garbin said, referring to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, who, on July 18, 2019, filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 proposing amendments to certain economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. 

“Will hold hearing next week, Wednesday,” Garbin added.

The measure seeks to amend Articles II, XIV and XVI, which are provisions in the Constitution that prevent foreign ownership of land and businesses in the country.

The proposed easing of restrictions is also sought on the ownership and management of mass media, public utility, educational institutions, investments and capital to foreign investors.

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Garbin denied that matters outside of Velasco's resolution will be tackled.

Senators Francis Tolentino and Ronald Dela Rosa filed in December a resolution for both houses of Congress to convene as a Constituent Assembly to discuss limited amendments to the Constitution, specifically on provisions on democratic representation and economy.

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Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the resolution needs a majority vote to be approved and for them to convene.

"But you need three-fourths vote to approve Consti amendments," he noted.

"It's like taking one big step into a mousetrap, or even a quicksand for that matter," said Sen. Panfilo Lacson as he notes the lack of "certainty that both chambers of Congress will be voting separately, which there is none due to the vagueness of that particular provision in the 1987 Constitution, and only the Supreme Court can make such interpretation."

Lacson said all members of the Senate "should discuss this matter very carefully before we even consider plenary debates on the said resolution."

As for opposition Sen. Franklin Drilon, the proposal "will not fly in the Senate."

- with reports from Zandro Ochona and Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News