Ex-DTI, DOF chiefs favor amending Charter’s economic provisions
MANILA, Philippines — The former chiefs of the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Finance (DOF) favor amending the 1987 Constitution’s economic provisions.
Former Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and former Finance Secretary Margarito Teves shared their views on the proposed Charter change (Cha-cha) during the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes hearing on Thursday.
“We, therefore, welcome the efforts, whether through a Charter Change or the enactment of laws, in removing these economic restrictions and any barrier that limit foreign participation in investments and economic activities,” Lopez said.
“Eliminating these barriers will certainly unleash, mas mapapakawalan niya ‘yung potensyal ng [further unleash the potential of] growth ng ating bansang Pilipinas [of our country Philippines], as it will facilitate the entry of more investments that will modernize our sectors,” he added.
For Lopez, economic restrictions are an “outdated nationalistic concept” and modifying the Constitution will boost benefits.
“Ito pong mga revisions na ‘to [These revisions] will certainly strengthen further ‘yung [the] benefits ng mga [of] legislative actions that opened several restrictions, such as ‘yung [the] modifications to the Retail Trade [Liberalization Act], Foreign Investment Act at Public Service Act,” he said.
On the other hand, Teves said that both chambers of Congress should have a consensus already.
“Siguro magtanong na o magkaroon ng consensus po ang Senado at saka ang House of Representatives kung ano ba ang objective natin nito kasi nagkakatugma naman tayo na kailangan natin i-amenda ‘yung ating Constitution,” he said.
(Maybe we should ask, or it is time for the Senate and House of Representatives to have a consensus on our objective because we all agree that the Constitution needs to be amended.)
“Sana po mag-focus lang muna tayo sa restrictive economic provisions,” he went on.
(I hope we only focus on restrictive economic provisions.)
Senator Robin Padilla, panel chairperson, is pushing for Cha-cha via a constituent assembly.
However, his colleagues in the upper house said that the move was not timely.
Likewise, Cha-cha is not a priority of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.