China likely to benefit from Charter amendments, says '87 Constitution framer

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 18 2021 01:15 PM

China likely to benefit from Charter amendments, says '87 Constitution framer 1
President Rodrigo Duterte and People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping pose for posterity prior to the start of the bilateral meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Aug. 29, 2019. Robinson Ninal, Presidential Photo

MANILA - China will most likely benefit if the Philippines opens its doors to foreign direct investment by liberalizing the Charter's economic provisions, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution said Monday.

"I think, at this time, the main beneficiary of any sudden opening up the doors of foreign investment with respect to nationalist provisions is China," lawyer Christian Monsod told ANC.

China's economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic while Western countries are suffering due to fresh wave of coronavirus cases, he added.

"But do we realize what that means to us? We are opening doors, the one who will probably take advantage of it right away are the Chinese and they're the ones who don't know how to obey or follow international laws, they're the ones who use force," Monsod said.

The House of Representatives is set to resume its hearings on the proposed charter amendments.

The measure seeks to amend 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.

Monsod said using the pandemic as a reason for revising economic provisions of the Constitution is a short-term view.

"The problem is they're representing foreign direct investment as a magic bullet. The fact is, the Philippines is the worst performing in our area of the world, both on the economy and on handling the pandemic," he said.

"We have to set our house in order first before it becomes attractive to foreign direct investments."

The Philippines, Monsod said, has not been attractive to foreign investors because of wrong policies and weak institutions.

China continues to disregard the ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration, upholding the Philippines’ sovereign rights to its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The Hague-based tribunal rejected China’s historic claim to resources in the South China Sea using its 9-dash line doctrine.

Other countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have competing claims in the vital sea lane.

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