MANILA -- A lawmaker on Monday reiterated the need for a meeting between senators and congressmen to
“Speaker Martin Romualdez’s openness to any Senate proposal on how to pursue constitutional reform, despite the supermajority support in the House for a Con-Con (Constitutional Convention) to pursue the makeover, augurs well for an early meeting between Charter Change proponents in both chambers to try finding a common ground on how to do it before the year is over,” Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said in a statement.
On Friday, Romualdez maintained the readiness of the House of Representatives to hear out senators.
“Hence, the timeliness of holding the week-ago’s called-off meeting on Charter Change between Sen. Robin (Padilla) and a House delegation led by Rep. Rufus (Rodriguez) during our legislative break,” Villafuerte added.
Meantime, lawmakers had mixed reactions to the change of heart of some business groups who had previously backed Charter change.
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas noted that this latest development further exposes the push for Cha-cha as "politically-motivated."
“We welcome this change of heart of the Makati Business Club along with other business groups and female business chambers as regards Cha-cha. We hope other big business chambers will join the growing opposition against the costly constitutional convention or Con-Con which does not carry any immediate solution to our economic woes,” said Rep. Brosas.
“As the MBC-led business bloc abandons the Cha-cha train, the push for Con-Con is further exposed as politically motivated and bereft of backing even by pro-economic liberalization groups,” she added.
For his part, House Committee on Constitutional Amendments Chair Rufus Rodriguez called out the business groups.
“MBC and Finex are now against Charter amendments. Before this position, they were in favor of changing the Constitution’s economic provisions,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
For Rodriguez, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s efforts to attract foreign capital are "commendable" but he noted these are still subject to the limitations of the Constitution which is the case with the Public Service Act.
“These laws cannot amend the Charter. As for the cost involved, we are trying to keep them to the minimum,” Rodriguez said.