The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) stressed Friday, May 28, that lifting the economic restrictions in the 1987 Constitution is vital for the country’s progress as it will open more job opportunities, a move deemed crucial amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
This, as the House of Representatives approved on second reading last Wednesday Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 2 which seeks to amend the 1987 Constitution and empower Congress to lift constitutional limits on foreign investments embodied in the Charter.
In a webinar, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the country has always been at the tailend in terms of foreign direct investments (FDIs) and is one of the Asian countries with the toughest investment rules as a result of the restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution.
“Reforms have to address these restrictive constraints to have a greater volume of FDIs to create more jobs for Filipinos,” Bello said during the second session of the webinar series on the impact of opening the economy on jobs and the labor sector spearheaded by the DILG through its Center for Local and Constitutional Reform (CLCR).
Bello noted that businesses were either temporarily shut or had seized operations due to the crisis.
“Progress is seen in addressing the unemployment rate by restoring lost jobs and creating more opportunities for labor participation across all sectors,” Bello said.
Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesman Jonathan Malaya said economic reforms are needed in this time of the pandemic.
The resolution will undergo third and final reading on May 31 at the House of Representatives plenary.
AKO Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr, chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, assured that RBH2 would be passed by the House on the third reading before Congress session adjourns next week.
The webinar series was launched by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) on Constitutional Reform headed by the DILG.
The co-organizers include the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence (CenSEI), Development Academy of the Philippines – Graduate School of Public and Development Management (DAP-GSPDM), Philippine Society for Public Administration (PSPA), and Blueprint.PH.