Negros lawman refrains from voting on House changes in economic provisions in constitution
BACOLOD CITY –– A Negros congressman has abstained from voting on the House committee on constitutional amendments resolution amending restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution, saying it still allows foreigners to own educational institutions and media in the Philippines.
Rep. Stephen Paduano of Abang Lingkod party-list said the provisions allowing foreign ownership of educational institutions and the mass media were not removed.
“We will see what happens when the resolution is discussed in the plenary,” he said.
The committee this week approved a resolution amending restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution while retaining the ban on foreign ownership of land by a vote of 64-3-3.
Paduano said the amendments proposed by Congress would be voted upon by the people in a plebiscite.
Rep. Francisco Benitez of Negros Occidental (third district), on the other hand, said he supports the amendments to the economic provisions in the Constitution.
“I think the idea is to increase foreign direct investments, and there are many ways to do that,” he said.
“If the general sentiment is that foreigners should not own land, that is okay so long as obstacles to foreign direct investments can be decreased and the country can be made more competitive,” he added.
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