Charter change to die if political agenda inserted - Salceda

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2021 01:31 PM | Updated as of Jan 11 2021 01:46 PM

MANILA - Charter change will fail if lawmakers will insert political amendments, Rep. Joey Salceda said Monday as he insisted that only economic provisions will be touched.

There is a "risk" that politics will also be touched when tackling amendments to the 1987 Constitution, he said. 

Asked if the talks on charter change are bound to fail if there will be these inserts, the legislator from Albay said: "Oo, automatic."

"Pag nilagyan nila ng politics ito, goodbye…If you put politics, dead on arrival. Para ka nang na-COVID, in 6 days patay ka," he told ANC's Headstart.

(If they add politics, goodbye...If you put politics, dead on arrival. It would be like being infected with COVID-19, you die in 6 days.)

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Salceda said Speaker Lord Allan Velasco will be meeting with heads of the political parties to ask that there be no discussion of politics for this.

"Actually si Speaker will be meeting the heads of the parties, I think today or tomorrow, para magkaroon ng agreement na wag na muna 'yang politics kasi maraming permutations 'yun, unang una. Pangalawa, maraming motivations," he said.

(Actually, Speaker will be meeting the heads of the parties, I think today or tomorrow, to arrive at an agreement to not have talks on politics first because that will have many permutations. Second, that involves a lot of motivations.)

Velasco had filed in July 2019 Resolution of Both Houses No. 2. The House of Representatives is expected to resume its hearings on charter change on Wednesday.

Salceda said there is almost a "consensus" on the economic provisions, with the exception of lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc, who he expects will oppose the move.

He said among the provisions to be tweaked is on the 60-40 rule, which mandates that business ownership in regulated industries must be mostly Filipino. 

The proposal is to insert a line which says "unless provided for by law." This then empowers Congress to grant exceptions to the rule.

Industries covered in the proposal include: natural resources, lands on public domain, private land, public utilities, education, media and advertising, and business in general, according to Salceda.

He expects the constitutional amendments and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill, which lowers corporate income tax rates, to offset the economic repercussions of the pandemic and initiate long-term structural changes.

"Pag pinagsabay mo ito at saka ang CREATE, makikita mo na mao-offset natin, one, everything that was created by COVID. At the same time, mao-offset mo na hindi tayo nagkaroon ng malaking stimulus. And structurally, for the long-term," he said.

(If both this and CREATE are in place, you will see that we can offset, one, everything that was created by COVID. At the same time, we will offset how we did not have a big stimulus. And structurally, for the long-term.)

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