Lower House Chacha bid an exercise in futility?

Published February 26, 2021, 3:31 PM

by Ben Rosario

Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado has cautioned against the manner by which the House of Representatives leadership is pursuing amendments to the 1987 Constitution, that the move can be an exercise in futility.


Bordado aired his view on the on-going Charter change proceedings in the Lower House even as proponents revealed that the chamber will vote on Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 on or before regular sessions adjourn  on March 24.

In a press conference conducted by the minority bloc, Bordado said both the Lower House and the Senate are proceeding with their respective bid to amend the Constitution in different manners.

While the Lower House is pursuing passage of RBH No. 2 by observing the same process as passing an ordinary law, the Senate is not, Bordado noted.

“I am of the view that this (House method) should proceed only after Congress convenes as a constituent assembly,” stressed the Bicolano solon.

Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin, chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Reform, insisted that the House leadership is observing the process of Charter revision that is in the Constitution.

He said RBH 2 will have to be adopted by the Lower House then sent to the Senate for its action.

Authored by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, RBH 2 was sponsored on the House floor last week and is now set for plenary debate.

RBH 2 seeks to insert the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” to constitutional provisions that restricts the participation of foreigners in various economic activities in the country, particularly ownership of land and business.

Bordado said that while the House proposals centered on specific economic provisions, the Senate version is “explicit in incouding democratic representation s among those to be amended.”

“If we talk about democratic representation, the Charter change bid becomes an open field for self-serving amendments,” he said.

The opposition solon lamented that Congress is having its hands full with Charter change moves notwithstanding the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic faced by Filipinos.