MANILA, Philippines – “Proceed with caution.”
That was the stand of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano when asked for his reaction on the proposed charter change.
“I would say proceed but proceed with caution, but if we can let’s just focus on the problem and solutions,” Cayetano told reporters after the opening ceremonies of the Senate’s third regular session Monday.
In his speech during the opening ceremonies, Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile said that charter change will be a priority issue in the third regular session of the Senate and reiterated that only some economic aspects of the 1987 Constitution will be amended.
“Chacha (charter change) is only one of many possible solutions but it will always be controversial,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said that those pushing to amend the Constitution mean well. However, he said that he does not believe that charter change is the only solution to all the economic woes of the country warning that the issue will likely derail the government from addressing more important issues.
“So I do believe they have good intentions, I do believe that the Senate President is looking for means to spawn a quantum leap of the economy,” he said.
“I do believe that Chacha will be divisive, I do believe that Chacha will take out the focus on more pressing problems that can be addressed,” Cayetano added.
Cayetano said that it will be difficult to convince the public that only the economic aspect will be amended in the Constitution.
“But remember, once you tinker with the Constitution, despite assurances of touching only the economic provisions, there’s a possibility that proponents would also tamper with the political aspects of the charter. It will be naïve to say politics and economics don’t mix,” he said.
He said the administration should focus more on fighting corruption, improving infrastructure, imposing predictable public policy and ensuring peace and order in order to boost economic growth.