Charter change among Senate’s priorities—Enrile


MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Monday said the possibility of having a Charter change is be among the priorities of the Senate on its legislative agenda for the third regular session of the 15th Congress.

In his speech during the opening ceremonies, however, Enrile said their proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution will be only on the economic provisions.

“We seek to amend only certain economic provisions therein such that there will be more flexibility in the ownership of certain industries, particularly those that are involved in the exploration, development and utilization of our natural resources,” Enrile said in his speech.

In a chance interview after the opening ceremonies, Enrile allayed fears that the proposed amendment to the Constitution will be for the term-extension of the president.

“It will not happen because the two Houses agreed and we will pass the resolution. You will see whether we are going to tinker with other provisions of the Constitution,” Enrile told reporters.

When asked why the Senate will prioritize Charter change, Enrile said they believe that this is needed by the country. “We must adopt a flexible policy than a very rigid one,” he said.

However, Enrile said they have no schedule yet as to when they will begin discussing Charter change.

“We are not talking about the time yet. We are going to discuss this with the President. He is the Chief Executive of the country and he’s entitled to know and be informed,” he told reporters.

He added he has not discussed the matter with his fellow senators and that he has only talked to House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte and Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III.

He added there have been varying reactions from various sectors regarding Charter change and the RH Bill.

However, Enrile said the Senate should address these issues.

“Rather than burying our heads in the sand, I think it will serve the Senate’s best interest to take cognizance of the lines drawn,” Enrile said.

“I know that we, in the Senate, will tackle these issues with tact and bravery,” he added.

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  • Rey Gan

    No to cha-cha and damaso.  Yes to RH bill!

  • JK1000

    May hidden agenda na naman si Enrile bago mag retire.

  • ano ikaw

    Enrile….the priorities are on National Security of this country(which you had since compromised when you booted the US bases out , in 1991) ; then the Economy, either of these two are far more important than your hidden agenda… CHACHA will only benefit people like you, trapos, and corrupt and big political parties. Don’t fool us. At past 80′ years old, you should know better that Filipinos are NOT BORN YESTERDAY.

  • 88Cindy

    Manong Enrile, ilang consitution na po ba ang pinag-daanan mo? Napakarami na, bakit hindi naman po nababawasan ang mga traditional Politicians (trapos) na ayaw umalis sa kanilang pwesto?
    Mga trapos na wala namang ginawa kung hindi ang gastusin ang pera ng bayan, at manatili sa Power?
    Bakit po pawang mga Politicians at mga kaalyado nito ang Yuamyaman, at ang mamamayang Pilipino naman ay naghihirap?
    Bakit po, gusto mo bang maging Prime Minister dahil hindi ka nanalong Presidente?
    Manong Johnny, Dati ay galit ka sa Meralco at mga telecom. Ang sabi mo ay kakampi ka namin, bakit ngayon ay sila na ang kakampi at ipinagtatanggol mo?

    Magpahinga na po kayo, manong.

  • Gil L. Gregorio

    Senator Enrile, please be careful, the crooks and the crocodiles are both eyeing a grand slide and play on with the CHA-CHA beat. I just hope that your careful steps will count the numbers that it would intend to keep.

  • Juan D. L. Cruz

    Attracting Foreign Direct Investments is not as robust as our ASEAN neighbors because of the fact that foreign ownership of businesses is restrictive as mandated in our constitution. The economic provisions in the constitution need to be amended to enable foreigners to own more than what it is currently set in Article 12 (60% Filipino, 40% Foreign). At what level and which industries I leave to the experts. It is difficult to expect foreigners to invest in our country if they do not have the controlling stakes in the businesses they plan to invest in.

    Imagine how many of our people will benefit if we allow more FDI’s to come in because foreigners can own controlling stakes in the companies that they build. This means more people can be employed by these foreign businesses which expands the tax base. Employed people have money to spend which spurs consumption which results in more manufacturing of products which in effect spurs economic growth (multiplier effect).

    Why are we afraid for foreigners to own more than 40% of the business? They can’t take the lands, buildings, factories and other facilities they will build to their original countries. In case the business leave, they will leave these physical infrastructure behind which may benefit other businesses (they may sell them, of course, but these are facilities that others won’t have to build).

    Imagine thousands if not millions of us, along with my fellow OFWs, won’t have to go overseas to find work to feed our families and send our children to school because we can find fulfillment and competitive salaries back home. We won’t have to be away from our families. This is a dream of any OFW and if it takes amending a 25-year-old constitution to help fulfill that dream then why not do it?

    You don’t see a lot of Singaporeans running around the middle east or elsewhere trying to find work. That’s because they can find fulfilling and competitive work at home. Foreign companies bring the work to Singapore to employ Singaporeans (and lately foreigners including Filipinos too).

    Charter change is not necessarily bad in itself. If you look at other more progressive countries, their constitutions have been (are) amended regularly to better respond to the changing times. 
    The 1987 constitution needs amending but make sure to limit it in the economic provisions (Article 12, Section 2) ONLY.  

    When our congress finally decides to do this, every single Filipino should do their part to make sure that they (Senators/Congressmen) are not changing anything that would prolong anybody’s stay in power.

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