Charter change proposal ‘finished’ in House by May, says Speaker
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said on Monday that the passage of the economic Charter change (Cha-cha) would not be rushed, saying the House of Representatives sees the proposed amendments to the Constitution “finished” in the chamber by May this year.
The timeline provided by Velasco is two months later than the date of passage earlier mentioned by House constitutional amendment committee chair Alfredo Garbin Jr.
Garbin earlier told reporters that the House would vote on the resolution proposing amendments to the Constitution on or before March 24, a few days before the chamber goes on a break.
“We don’t need to rush it now because we still have a year to do it. We’ll just try to hear out all the members who have questions regarding the Cha-cha so everyone is given a chance to ask,” Velasco told reporters.
“I have to talk to Chairman Pido Garbin first. But actually, I see finishing the Charter change before the end of May … finished in the House,” he added.
Despite the opposition of the senators, the Speaker believed that Cha-cha was not yet “dead in the water.”
“I think the public’s fear is that if we pursue Charter change, our people always think that political leaders might include provisions for their own advantage,” he said.
“But at the end of the day, we are only looking at amending the Constitution so we can open up the country for foreign investors,” he added.
Velasco and Garbin did not respond when sought for their comments. —Nestor Corrales INQ
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