Charter change to favor foreign mining firms, says CasiñoBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño criticized plans of discussions to amend the 1987 Constitution, urging the government to instead focus on other ways of improving the economy.
Commenting on renewed plans to talk about Charter change provisions on land ownership and foreign investments among others, Casiño lamented that the said discussions would only favor foreign mining companies.
He said that Malacañang recently approved mining policy only offered “band aid solutions to the problems of the mining industry.”
“Cha-cha (Charter change) will aggravate and worsen it by allowing foreigners to further exploit mineral resources that is supposed to be reserved for Filipinos and used for our own industries,” Casiño added, pointing out that those proposing to amend provisions in the Constitution were doing so through “proposals and (were) unsupported by any real research.”
He described the suggestion to allow foreigners to own land, public utilities and natural resources as a recipe for disaster, saying that Thailand requires 51 percent Thai ownership of its public utilities such as electricity and energy, Australia requires 65 percent Australian ownership of its telecommunication, while Brazil requires 49 percent Brazilian ownership of its lands.”
“In fact aliens are totally prohibited from owning land in China. Meanwhile, Nepal, Mongolia and Cambodia which allow unrestricted foreign ownership remain poor,” he observed.
Issues like Charter change which Casiño deemed as “not urgent” should not distract the 15th Congress in passing measures which seek to improve Filipinos lives such as the reduction of electricity cost.