House reso on 'economic Cha-cha' has Duterte’s support — Garbin

Published June 2, 2021, 2:42 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Ako Bicol Partylist Representative Alfredo Garbin, Jr. on Wednesday, June 1, expressed belief that President Duterte fully supports the passage into law of the Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 2 which seeks to amend economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

House of Representatives (Alvin Kasiban/MANILA BULLETIN File photo)

Garbin said that members of the President’s Cabinet have already expressed their support to RBH No. 2, signifying the executive department’s support to the measure, even though there is no declaration that the measure is certified as urgent.

“If you speak of doctrine of qualified political agency, meaning the pronouncement of his subordinates, Malacañang is clearly supportive of the measure,” Garbin said during an online Ugnayan sa Batasan forum.

He said the secretaries of the Departments of Finance, Trade and even the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) have aired their support for the measure.

RBH No. 2, which the House adopted on Tuesday, June 1, after gaining 251 affirmative votes, seeks to open the country to foreign direct investments to help the economy recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In fact, Secretary (Carlos) Dominguez want that we open it as wide as possible. Gusto niya wala nang barrier, wala nang restriction (He wanted to remove the barrier, the restriction), but the only proposal we approved of is to insert the phrase ‘otherwise provided by law’,” Garbin stressed.

Garbin also said he believes the Senate will, in time, agree to the passage of the measure, pointing out that Senate President Vicente Sotto III acknowledged that the Upper Chamber may soon be able to tackle the measure once it reaches them.

“There’s a supervening event: When Sotto was interviewed, he said that since this is just an economic provision, tatalakayin nila ito (they will take this up),” he stressed.

“Iilan lang naman ang may negative perception dito (Only a few senators have a negative perception on this bill). But it’s a welcome development for the Senate President to say that they will tackle the economic charter change, once it is transmitted to them,” the solon said.

Garbin said he, too, agrees with the Senate and House leaders belief that there is no need to rush the passage of the measure, and the Senate’s plan to take it up when Congress returns for the third regular session is appropriate.

“They have enough time to tackle it when we resume for the third regular session. In fact, they are just on time, they have from August to February to debate on it, before it is approved by both houses of Congress and the goal of holding a plebiscite is achieved,” he stressed.

Garbin, likewise, reiterated that RBH No. 2 would only touch on the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution and not on any political aspects.

“We will stick to our word that this is only on economic provisions, there’s no political provisions,” he assured.