House assured that Zubiri 'will keep an open mind' on charter change


Posted at Mar 19 2023 11:36 PM

Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file
Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA -- House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said Sunday the Senate president "personally assured" him that he "will keep an open mind" on the Congress' initiative for constitutional reform.

This, after Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri questioned last Wednesday the House of Representatives' supposed rush to amend the 1987 Constitution.

"SP Migz personally assured me that he will keep an open mind on the move by the House of Representatives to institute economic reforms through constitutional amendments," Romualdez said in a press release.

The House speaker also added that Zubiri informed him that the Senate is just waiting for the report of their Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes chaired by Sen. Robin Padilla, for appropriate plenary action.

Romualdez also said that Zubiri told him that other senators are contemplating on rescheduling the Senate committee hearing scheduled for March 20, Monday.

"I trust that other senators will continue to join SP Migz in keeping their mind open on amending restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution," the House speaker said.

Zubiri earlier said the three economic measures—Public Services Act, the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and the Foreign Investments Act—already addressed the "restrictive" economic provisions in the Constitution.

The Senate president also noted that foreign investors are not concerned over the constitution but are instead looking at ease of doing business in the Philippines.

The House of Representatives approved last Tuesday, March 14, on 3rd and final reading and voted 301-7-0 the House Bill 7352 or the proposed Constitutional Convention Act of 2023, which operationalizes Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 that calls for a convention to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Representatives Gabriel Bordado, Arlene Brosas, France Castro, Edcel Lagman, Raoul Manuel, and Mujiv Hataman were among the 7 who voted against the bill.