Asst. Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Partylist Rep. Arlene Brosas on Thursday, May 27, decried the move of the House of Representatives leadership to prioritize the Charter change bid over various legislative measures proposing to address the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Lower House on Wednesday approved on second reading Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 that proposes to amend economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution to liberalize entry of foreign investments.
The legislative measure seeks to add the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in the said provisions to allow Congress to tinker with the charter without the need of amending it through constitutional convention or constituent assembly.
“This is the most dangerous and most shameless Chacha as it assumes the convening of a constituent assembly (Con-Ass) from the start of committee deliberations,” said Brosas.
The solon added: “And by attaching ‘unless otherwise provided by law’ to key economic provisions of the Constitution, it centralizes the power to adjust foreign equity restrictions in the hands of Congress.” She stressed that instead of addressing the public’s please for immediate assistance as they face hunger and lack of job, the Lower House leadership decided to rush the adoption of RBH No. 2.
` “Contrary to the Duterte administration’s claims that this measure will benefit the poor, this double-faced Charter Change will only make foreign entities and big businesses even richer with the easing of foreign ownership limitations,” Brosas stated.
The lawmaker blasted claims the measure will immediately result to job generation, saying that “the government’s failed pandemic response offers no assurance that the country’s economy will have a shot in the arm with FDIs.” “It is also important to note that FDIs are known to create jobs that are low-paying, contractual, and precarious due to foreign capital’s penchant for cheap and flexible labor,” she added.
The lawmaker noted that China at US investors will be big winners in the move to lift foreign equity restrictions.