House passes reso calling for con-con to propose economic reforms

House passes reso calling for con-con to propose economic reforms Featured

MANILA – With an overwhelming 301 affirmative votes, six against and one abstention, the House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a resolution calling for a constitutional convention (con-con) that would propose amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution.

Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 is principally authored by Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., and House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chair and Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

Romualdez said the House aims to limit its Charter rewriting initiative to the “restrictive” economic provisions of the basic law “in the hope that the changes would pave the way for the country to attract more foreign investments.”

“We need additional investments that would create more job and income opportunities for our people. We need increased capital to sustain our economic growth momentum,” Romualdez said.

He reiterated that investment reforms by way of amending the Constitution’s economic provisions could be the “final piece in the puzzle” of improving the country’s economic and investment environment.

Earlier, the House majority held a caucus an hour before the resumption of plenary sessions wherein 300 lawmakers signified their intention to be co-authors of RHB 6.

The caucus was called to apprise the majority bloc of the priority measures that need to be acted upon by the House of Representatives before the Easter legislative break.

The Committee on Constitutional Amendments endorsed RBH No. 6 after conducting extensive public hearings and consultations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Through the resolution, the House and the Senate resolve to call a con-con “for the purpose of proposing amendments to the economic provisions, or revision of, the 1987 Constitution.”

The resolution noted that among the three modes of proposing amendments to the Charter, the calling of a constitutional convention “would be the most transparent, exhaustive, democratic and least divisive means of implementing constitutional reforms.”

“Extensive studies show that particular economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution need to be revisited and recrafted so that the Philippines may become globally competitive and attuned with the changing times,” the resolution stated.

It further notes that such reform has been identified by reputable business and economic groups as a key policy instrument that needs to be implemented, and that these organizations feel that the economic reform by way of constitutional amendments “is now long overdue.”

The envisioned con-con would be a hybrid assembly with elected and appointed members, with the election and appointment of delegates to be held simultaneously with the Oct. 30, 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls.

The details of the election and appointment of con-con delegates would be contained in an implementing bill to be passed by Congress. (PNA)

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