Koko Pimentel, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay: Cha-cha is not needed at this time | Inquirer News

Koko Pimentel, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay: Cha-cha is not needed at this time

/ 10:43 AM February 09, 2023

Three senators say that Charter change should not be a priority right now – amid the daily living struggles of Filipinos.

Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay, and Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III (right). PRIB PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines — Modifying the 1987 Constitution is not needed right now, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III and Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay said Thursday.

In separate statements, the three senators explained why Charter change (Cha-cha) should not be a priority at this time.


“Our people are too preoccupied with daily living struggles. Although we need constitutional changes to improve our system of government, this can wait as we should first address the basic daily living problems like where to get food to feed the family, the continued increase in prices (inflation), where to get a job, corruption, the high cost of living and even of dying, and many many more basic problems,” Pimentel pointed out.


“Also, why prioritize the changing of the economic provisions in the Constitution when what needs to be changed are the political provisions?” he asked.

READ: EXPLAINER: The process of Cha-cha and why we should monitor it

Poe, on the other hand, noted that the Public Service Act and Trade Liberalization Act, which are “meant to encourage more investments, employment, and economic growth” have already been passed.

“As for the economic provisions, we’ve passed major legislations that clarified the economic provisions of the Constitution,” she said.

“There’s no need at the moment for a [Constituent Assembly]. Unless the proponents are pushing for another agenda,” said Poe.

She further said that she may talk with economic managers to know the benefits of Cha-cha and what changes to the economic provisions are still needed.


Binay shared the same view with Poe, saying that amendments to economic provisions have already been addressed in the last Congress.

“’Yung mga nai-introduce nating mga economic reforms ay tugon doon sa mga kakulangan sa probisyon sa Constitution, at sagot sa mga isyu ng foreign equity limitation sa utilities, power, telecoms, transport at aviation, infra, at iba pang sektor,” said Binay.

(The economic reforms that we introduced are a response to the lack of provision in the Constitution, and the answer to the issues of foreign equity limitation in utilities, power, telecoms, transport and aviation, infra, and other sectors.)

“The country is still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, but we’re confident these reforms are sufficient to encourage investors and help revitalize our economy,” she also said.

Noting that Cha-cha is “divisive,” she added that the government should unify and focus on preparing for a global recession.

“Dapat doon tayo mag-focus sa mga isyu na direktang nakakabit sa sikmura tulad ng presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin, mga problema sa agrikultura, tutukan natin ang health sector at bigyang pansin ‘yung mga isyu sa marginalized sectors kagaya ng ating mga magsasaka’t mamamalakaya, at talagang mahaba-haba pa ang listahan ng mga problema natin,” Binay said.

(We should focus on issues that directly affect Filipinos such as the rising prices of basic commodities, agricultural problems, prioritize the health sector and issues of marginalized sectors like our farmers and fishers, and really, we still have a long list of problems.)

“Kung priorities lang naman po ang pag-uusapan, ang usapin ng Charter Change eh medyo lihis sa kumakalam na sikmura – ‘di po kasama ang [constituent assembly] sa ulam ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” she continued.

(If we are talking about priorities, the discussion of Charter Change is far from the issue of hunger – constituent assembly is not a dish for Filipino families.)

Senator Robinhood Padilla has proposed amending the 1987 Constitution via a constituent assembly where the Senate and House of Representatives would vote separately.

The neophyte senator explained that the country “must amend its Constitution by removing these restrictive economic provisions to allow foreign businesses to directly invest in a more conducive landscape.”


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TAGS: Politics, Senate

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