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Monday, April 15, 2024

Cha-cha ‘not a priority’ forPBBM, but solons unfazed

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A CHANGE in the 1987 Constitution, as some members of Congress are pushing, has become less likely under the current administration.

This, after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. announced during the weekend that Charter change is not a priority of his administration.

“It’s not a priority for me because there are so many other things that need to be done,” Marcos said in an interview with reporters on his return flight following his official visit to Japan late Sunday.

The President noted that the previous administration had decided to push for  Charter change in an attempt to change the economic provisions of the Constitution as well as to transform the type of government for federalism.

However, he pointed out that such economic reforms can be done even under the current 1987 Constitution.

“We want to get investments and sometimes [the current Constitution] hampers this. You know these include the issues in ownership, appropriation,” Marcos said.

“But for me, all of those things can be done without the need to change the Constitution,” he added.

Despite such position of the President on the matter, some members of Congress said they will still continue consultations to revise the provisions of the current Constitution particularly on restriction in foreign ownership.

Robin unfazed

Senator Robin Padilla remains unfazed by signals from President Marcos that Charter change is “not a priority” under the current administration.

Addressing queries on why proponents should still continue seeking to “reform the economic provisions in the Constitution,” Padilla lamented hearing from past presidents that “they are not prioritizing amending the Constitution, particularly its economic provisions.”

“It is sad because if we do not make the needed changes to the Charter’s economic provisions,” he said, adding that “ordinary Filipinos will not feel the benefits of progress for our Motherland, or of improvements in their lot in life.”

The senator asserted that “the Foreign Direct Investments [FDI] that we badly need cannot come true without the proper provisions from our Constitution. And most of the pledges by foreign investors from our leaders’ foreign trips will not materialize.”

“I repeat: In any country, the basic law is the Constitution… Because of this, I will continue the hearings to update our Constitution. My job in the Senate is to benefit our Motherland and inform our people about what we are doing.”

As the President’s senatorial candidate in UniTeam, Padilla affirmed that “I support all his priority legislation.”

“That said, I will pursue my own advocacies, with or without the President’s support, because that is my obligation to the people—and I will stay the course in the Senate, as part of our democracy,” the senator stressed.

Still, he assured that “whether or not my fellow senators support my advocacy, it is important that the people know why our growth as a nation has been held back—and what must be done to address this.”

Image credits: Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB

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