Senators oppose Padilla's reso calling for amendments to 1987 Constitution via con-ass


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay opposed a resolution of Senator Robinhood C. Padilla calling for a constituent assembly (Con Ass) to amend the restrictive economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

Binay thinks that amending restrictive economic provisions of the 1987 Charter through constituent assembly is not on the plate of hungry Filipinos .

Rather than focus on Charter change, Binay said there are many issues that need to be resolved, particularly the basic daily living problems like where to get food to feed the family, the continued increase in prices (inflation), where to get a job, corruption, the high cost of living and even of dying, and many many more basic problems.

Binay said the last Congress already addressed the economic issues with three vital economic liberalization laws that are intended to boost our economy and global competitiveness.

The three, according to Binay, are the Public Service Act (PSA), Retail Trade Liberalization Act and the Foreign Investments Act.

Binay emphasized that the country is still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, "but we're confident these reforms are sufficient to encourage investors and help revitalize our economy."

"As for the economic provisions, we’ve passed major legislations that clarified the economic provisions of the Constitution. The Public Service Act. The Trade Liberalization Act," Senator Grace Poe, chairman of the Senate Public Services committee, said.

"Both are meant to encourage more investments, employment and economic growth," she stressed.

"There’s no need at the moment for a Con Ass. Unless the proponents are pushing for another agenda," she added.

Pimentel said Filipinos ‘’are too pre-occupied with daily living struggles.’’

"Although we need constitutional changes to improve our system of government, this can wait as we should first address the basic daily living problems like: where to get food to feed the family, the continued increase in prices (inflation), where to get a job, corruption, the high cost of living and even of dying, and many many more basic problems," he pointed out.

‘’Also, why prioritize the changing of the economic provisions in the constitution when what needs to be changed are the political provisions?" he asked.

Yesterday, Senator Robinhood "Robin" C. Padilla has taken the first major step towards amending the restrictive economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution so the economy could better respond to the needs of the times.

In Resolution of Both Houses No. 3, Padilla proposed the changes to the Charter via constituent assembly (Con Ass) with both Houses of Congress - the Senate and House of Representatives - voting separately.

"To accelerate economic growth, and fulfill its international commitment, the Philippines must amend its Constitution by removing these restrictive economic provisions to allow foreign businesses to directly invest in a more conducive landscape," he said.

Padilla is chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes.