House Speaker Martin Romualdez gave his strongest endorsement yet for economic Charter Change (Cha-cha) on Friday night, Feb. 10 when he called it the "final piece of the puzzle" in improving the country's economic environment.
Romualdez made this remark during a press briefing with Manila-based journalists in Japan.
"When we get back to Manila, we’ll continue with our public hearings on the possibility, of revisiting the possibility of a Charter amendment and obviously we are making these consultations," said the House leader.
"We will see how we can probably make our Constitution more open and less restrictive because we feel that that is the final piece of the puzzle to bring about, you know, a better and economic environment and more open one, to be more competitive," he said.
Romualdez, Leyte’s 1st district representative, is part of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s official delegation in his five-day Japan visit.
Back home, in the House of Representatives, the Committee on Constitutional Amendments has already carried out three public hearings on the various pending Cha-cha bills in the 19th Congress.
Earlier Friday, committee chairman, Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez led the first leg of out-of-town public consultations on the proposed constitutional amendments. He bared during the discussions in Cagayan de Oro that the House leadership wanted "special focus" on lifting the restrictive economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
"Every time I go out on these trips," Romualdez said, "I get a sense that there's just something holding us back and that's why we're having these hearingd, these consultations with the people."
"And if they are ready and willing because we think that the end of the day, dito talaga makikinabang ang taumbayan pagka binuksan talaga yung ekonomiya, dadagsain talaga tayo ng investiments (we feel that our countrymen will truly benefit from opening up the economy, we will get flooded by investments)," he said.
"So we really like to create more job opportunities and, you know, better livelihood seen in the Philippines. And we feel that by bringing in ang attracting foreign capital, foreign investments...then we feel that we will be able to achieve, you know...not just better economy, but a better country," Romualdez further said.