House eyes Cha-cha passage March 24 | Inquirer News

House eyes Cha-cha passage March 24

/ 05:34 AM February 27, 2021

The House of Representatives plans to pass on final reading by March 24 proposed amendments to economic provisions in the Constitution although the Senate has not even resumed committee hearings that were last held in January.

House constitutional amendments committee chair and Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said this was the timeline set by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Resolution of Both Houses No. 2.

The resolution proposes the insertion on the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in certain articles of the Constitution that will allow Congress to change the letter and intent of the law.


The measure also proposes that both the House and the Senate vote separately on the economic amendments to the Constitution. A vote of at least three-fourths of the total membership of each chamber is needed for the measure to hurdle Congress.


But the Senate will still have to concur with the proposal and senators have repeatedly aired their reluctance to amend the Constitution at a time when the nation should focus on solutions to the new coronavirus pandemic that has so far killed more than 12,000 Filipinos.

Even among congressmen, there has been growing criticism of the House’s preoccupation with amending the Constitution while the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic and the Philippines does not even have a supply of vaccines, which are in short supply.

The House’s Makabayan bloc on Friday vowed to oppose efforts to amend the Constitution, arguing that Filipinos direly need vaccines and financial aid.

“They should address the pandemic and the people’s health through vaccine procurement, not constitutional amendments and holding on to power,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite.

‘Wrong solution’

At an online press briefing, Gaite maintained that removing the nationalist provisions in the Charter is the “wrong solution.”

“What we need is a nationalist solution. Develop our local economy by helping our micro, small and medium enterprises instead of relying on unstable foreign direct investments (FDIs) that come and go especially during crisis,” he said.


This can be achieved by pouring in more support for micro, small and medium enterprises and the agriculture sector, instead of depending on foreign direct investments to generate more jobs for Filipinos.

“Economic data shows that even with more FDIs in the country, we have not maximized its potential because it does not consider national development. Foreign capital just comes and goes, our workers are exploited,” Gaite said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat warned that indigenous peoples might lose their rights over their ancestral lands if more foreign businesses are allowed to set up shop here.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“We might lose protections afforded to Filipinos that are guaranteed under the Constitution now. We should not be preoccupied with the interests of a few and of foreigners amid this crisis. They should first address the needs of the people, like aid, a free and safe vaccine, and not Charter change (Cha-cha),” she added.

TAGS: Cha-cha, Constitution

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.