Charter amendments not a waste of time, money — House panel chair
MANILA, Philippines — Amending the “restrictive” economic provisions of the country’s 33-year old Constitution is not a waste of Filipino’s time and money, Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin said Friday.
Garbin, who chairs the House committee on constitutional amendments, made the remark in response to Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson for the Office of the Vice President, who said securing COVID-19 vaccines for Filipinos should be the priority of the government instead of wasting time on Charter change.
“Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez is wrong in saying that our efforts at amending economic provisions in our Constitution are a waste of our people’s time and money,” Garbin said in a statement.
According to Garbin, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the country’s economy underscored the need to amend the “restrictive” economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
These restrictive provisions, Garbin said, “impede the inflow of funds and investments crucial to enable us to recover from the havoc brought upon by this public health crisis.”
“And if we want to better position the Philippines, Charter change must happen now because our economy is still a long way from full recovery,” Garbin said.
The lawmaker likewise assured that the constitutional amendments will be taken up with fairness and transparency.
“Just like other pieces of legislation passed within the chamber of Congress, it will go through the legislative process and will be voted upon nominally by each member of the House of Representatives,” Garbin said.
Garbin’s panel is set to resume debates on the proposed constitutional amendments but House leaders have assured that discussions will only focus on the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution.
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