House plenary debates on Cha-cha eyed in February
MANILA, Philippines — House committee on constitutional amendments chairperson Alfredo Garbin is eyeing to begin plenary deliberation on the proposed amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution in February.
During the Ugnayan sa Batasan forum, Garbin said his committee intends to present a report on Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 2, which seeks to liberalize the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution, after “one or two” more hearings.
The next hearing is scheduled for January 26, Tuesday.
“We still have one to two hearings in the committee and we’ll come out with the committee report which would exclusively deal with the economic provisions,” Garbin said.
“And then earliest is the first week of February, it can be debated on the plenary for second reading,” he added.
Under Resolution of Both Houses No. 2, filed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” would be added to the constitutional restrictions that limit the participation of foreign investors in the governing body of entities based on their proportionate share in the capital.
Similarly, the same phrase will be applied to provisions stating that only Filipino citizens in the country can control, own, and/or lease alienable lands, public utilities, educational institutions, mass media firms, and advertising companies.
Garbin said there is a need to prepare the economy and the needed policy to send a positive signal to the international business community.
“We want to send the signal to the business community that we are now open and that the restrictive policy will be lifted,” Garbin said.
He added: “We want to better our position or business climate, we want to be proactive in promoting our investment. Para hindi tayo mapag-iwanan, dahil napag-iiwanan na tayo (So that we will not be left behind, because we are being left behind),” he added.
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