Economic bills certified as urgent a ‘piecemeal Cha-cha’ — Gabriela solon
MANILA, Philippines — Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas dubbed the three economic bills that were certified by President Rodrigo Duterte as urgent as a “piecemeal Cha-cha” (Charter change).
Brosas made the remark in response to Duterte’s move to certify as urgent the measures proposing amendments to the Public Service Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act.
“Piecemeal Cha-cha itong cinertify as urgent at pinapamadaling ipasa ni Pangulong Duterte na tatlong economic measures,” Brosas said in a press briefing.
“Dahil bigo silang makumbinsi ang sambayanan sa Chacha kahit may pandemya, gusto ni Duterte na ipasa na ng Senado ang mga panukalang ito,” she added.
Duterte said enacting these measures into law would “address the immediate and continuing need for legislative reforms to provide a more conducive investment climate, increase job opportunities, foster more competition and further spur the country’s economic growth.
However, Brosas said small businesses would likely take the burden of the measures if approved.
“Kapag naisabatas ang mga ito, lalong kawawa ang mga maliliit na lokal na negosyo. Pwede na ang 100% dayuhang pag-aari sa sektor ng tubig, kuryente, transport at maging sa retail industry,” Brosas said.
“Talagang inuna pa ang interes ng dayuhan at hindi pinapakinggan ang panawagang unahin ang panawagang P10,000 ayuda, paid pandemic leave at sapat na tulong sa ating micro, small, and medium enterprises. Ayan pala ang trinabaho ng Pangulo sa kanyang staycation,” the lawmaker added.
Amendments can only do so much
In reaction to Brosas, Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., who serves as the chairperson of the House committee on constitutional amendments, said that while the bills are definitely needed, they “can only do so much.”
“A look into the Restrictive provision of the 1987 Constitution which have hampered the inflow of FDIs (foreign direct investment) in the Country is also warranted. The investment to-GDP ratio of the country is still very low and FDI is one of the lowest in the Region,” Garbin said in a text message.
“With the contraction of our economy, we owe it to the Filipino people to enact all necessary legislations to improve and stimulate our economy including the timely lifting of restrictive provisions in the Constitution,” he added.
The three measures have been approved in the House of Representatives but remain pending in the Senate.