Economic Charter amendments may be sent to Comelec before Holy Week

February 26, 2024 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 54 views

A SENIOR House leader on Monday said the House of Representatives hopes to send approved economic Charter amendments to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) before Congress goes on its Holy Week recess next month.

Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II, a former majority leader, said the amendment proposals, if approved by the House and the Senate, would be transmitted to the Comelec, instead of to the Office of the President, for the scheduling of a plebiscite for their ratification by the people.

He said the President has no participation in the process of amending the Constitution.

He said House leaders made it a point to have Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 7 as an “exact replica” of RBH No. 6 that is pending in the Senate to hasten the process of considering and approving the proposed amendments.

Gonzales said he read news reports saying senators have promised President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. that they would approve RBH No. 6, the Senate’s version of economic Charter reform proposals, before Holy Week.

“Ang ginawa ng House ay salubungin na para kung magkaka-agree before the Lenten break, meron na kaming pareho – kung ma-approve ng Senate ang version nila…pareho naming ma-approve ‘yan by the required, necessary votes…then puwede na naming padala ‘yan sa Comelec. Para ang Comelec ngayon ay mag-schedule na ng plebesito,” he added.

Gonzales also said RBH No. 7 would go through the normal process of legislation like a bill or proposed law.

“Para din itong pagtalakay ng isang normal na bill. Dumadaan sa three readings…Pareho din ‘to, except this involves the amendment of the Constitution…ordinarily, nire-refer sa committee on constitutional amendment, pero nothing prevents the House from exercising it’s discretion to constitute a committee of the whole para…lahat can participate,” he said.

He said after Committee of the Whole House deliberations are completed, RBH No. 7 would be referred to the plenary, where final voting would take place.

He added that he does not expect any amendment or change to be introduced in RBH No. 7 because the House has decided to make the resolution a “mirror” of the Senate’s RBH No. 7 to foreclose any disagreement among senators and House members, and any delay in the approval of the proposed economic Charter reforms.