Govt should focus on pandemic, not charter change: QC mayor

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2020 12:01 PM | Updated as of Jul 20 2020 12:25 PM

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The government should prioritize containing the coronavirus pandemic instead of pushing for charter change, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Monday. 

The interior department said over the weekend that 1,488 municipal mayors back 2 reforms in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to amend the constitution, namely:

- the lifting of foreign restrictions in industries limited to Filipinos; 
- and sourcing internal revenue allotments (IRA) for local governments from all national taxes, and not only those collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. 

Belmonte said "all local governments will benefit" from a bigger IRA. She said her father, Feliciano Belmonte Jr., had also pushed for foreign investments when he was still House Speaker. 

However, the public needs to trust the government again before it can undertake actions "that might be misconstrued probably as furthering personal [interest], rather than interest of the general public," she said. 

"We have to win the trust and the confidence of the people first in the sincerity of the government in addressing this pandemic," the mayor told ANC. 

"Now is the time to just concentrate on the pandemic, show the public that we are doing our best, our numbers are improving, that we are all hands on deck... This is the issue of the day and this is the most important crisis of our era," she said. 

ANC, July 20, 2020