Garbin optimistic Senate has ‘enough time’ to tackle economic Cha-cha
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate still has “enough time” to tackle the proposed economic Charter change (Cha-cha), House committee on constitutional amendments chair Alfredo Garbin Jr. said Tuesday.
During a press conference of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Constitutional Reform (IATF-CORE), Garbin said that a plebiscite on constitutional amendments shall be held not earlier than 60 days nor later than 90 days after the certification by the Commission on Elections of the sufficiency of the petition.
Garbin said that this means that the Senate can still act on the proposed economic Charter change by February next year, three months before the national elections in May 2022. Economic cha-cha advocates want the plebiscite to be held simultaneously with the national elections.
“So ‘yung February, bago kami mag-recess for the national campaign, eksakto lang ‘yun or pwede ring magkaroon ng special session for its approval sa March,” Garbin said.
(So February will be the exact time before we go on recess. The holding of special session is also possible for its approval in March.)
“They have enough time from today until February 8 or February 9, they have enough time to deliberate,” he added.
In the same forum, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya called on the Senate to tackle the proposed economic Charter change before the period of filing of certificate of candidacy for the 2022 elections on October.
The House of Representatives has already approved the proposed Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 which seeks to amend the “restrictive” provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
The Senate, however, still needs to approve the resolution for the push for economic cha-cha to proceed.
Under the Resolution of Both Houses No. 2, the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” would be added to the constitutional restrictions that limit foreign investors’ participation in the governing body of entities based on their proportionate share of the capital.
The same language would also be added to laws stating that only Filipino people have the right to control, own, and/or lease public utilities, educational institutions, mass media enterprises, and advertising firms in the country.