MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it submitted Wednesday to a House panel some 555,0000 signatures and resolutions from local governments supposedly supporting the move to amend portions of the 1987 Constitution.
"The DILG conducted roadshows all over the country in 2019 and last year pre-COVID and we can definitely say that there is growing public support to reforms in the 1987 Constitutions especially the lifting of restrictive economic provisions to encourage foreign capital flow and investments into the country" DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.
Malaya said more could have been added to the 555,610 signatures and LGU (local government unit) resolutions if the pandemic did not happen.
"If not for COVID, we could have gathered more signatures but because the DILG turned its attention to the pandemic, we migrated our signature campaign on-line," the official said.
The House Committee on Constitutional Amendments convened Wednesday to discuss House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco's initiative to amend the decades-old charter and relax its "restrictive" provisions regarding foreign ownership of certain sectors and other economic provisions.
Lawmakers supporting the move said liberalizing the economy would ease the effects of the pandemic due to incoming foreign investments.
Critics, however, said Charter change should not be tackled as the country is still grappling from the rising cases of COVID-19.