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Economy, not politics, our focus — Speaker

February 26, 2024 Jester P. Manalastas 83 views

EKONOMIYA, hindi pulitika.”

This is the focus of the proposed amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution the House of Representatives is advocating, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said in his speech at the opening of the committee of the whole deliberation on the Resolution of Both Houses No. 7.

“Malinaw po sa ating lahat ang misyon natin ngayon. Baguhin ang ilang economic provisions na pumipigil sa pagpasok ng mga negosyo mula sa ibang bansa. Mga negosyong lilikha ng trabaho at magpapasigla ng ating ekonomiya,” he said.

“Ito lamang ang pakay natin. Ekonomiya, hindi pulitika,” he told his colleagues.

Romualdez lamented that while he and other House members pushing for the amendment of the Charter’s economic provisions, they are being accused of being opposed to “these essential reforms.”

“Categorically, we are denying this unfounded and baseless accusation. Wala po tayong hinangad sa Kapulungang ito kundi ang kabutihan ng Sambayanang Pilipino. And we work night and day to make this happen,” he said.

“Now, to dispel doubts that the efforts of the House of Representatives in pushing for the amendment of the economic provisions of the Constitution is politically-motivated, we are adopting all the three proposed amendments of the Senate version of Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, in toto,” he added.

The House version, RBH No. 7, is authored by Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and other House leaders. It is the same as the resolution introduced in the Senate by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senators Loren Legarda and Juan Edgardo Angara.

“This should assure the public that Congress is only touching on the economic provisions that need to adapt with the changing times. There is absolutely nothing in RBH 7 that hovers on any political provision of the Constitution,” Romualdez said.

He said the economic Charter reforms the House is pushing for aim “to create an environment ripe with opportunities where jobs are plentiful, education is world-class, and the fruits of progress are shared by everyone.”

“To do this, we need to break barriers that hold us back. We must pave the way to cross over an era of prosperity, innovation and inclusivity,” he said.

He said constitutional amendment proposals are “a matter of utmost national concern that will impact not just the present citizens of our great nation, but also the generations to come.”

He stressed the need and urgency of effecting economic Charter changes.

“The times are changing. We need to adapt if we are to become more competitive globally, invite technological advancement, and provide a more conducive economic platform where people have wider opportunities for growth. We should do it now, lest we risk lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to economic development and productivity,” Romualdez said.

“The Filipino people need this change. We owe it to our constituents and the generations to come. We have to make this happen now more than ever,” he said.

He pointed out that the amendment proposals are three-pronged: 1) Reform the public service sector; 2) Open access of our children to the best educational institutions, whether Filipino or foreign-owned; and 3) Liberalize the advertising industry.

The House leader said more investments could lead to cheaper and reliable power and electricity, cheaper and faster internet service, and better and modern transport system.

He added that the restrictive economic provisions also affect education.

“Currently, ownership of educational institutions is limited to Filipino citizens and corporations with 60-percent Filipino ownership. The control and administration of educational institutions are currently reserved to Filipinos exclusively,” Romualdez said.