House open to talks on Cha-cha mode | Inquirer News

House open to talks on Cha-cha mode

/ 05:42 AM March 25, 2023
House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has urged Filipino-Chinese business leaders to open ventures here in the country so that Filipinos would not need to go out of the country and leave their families to find a source of income.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez. FILE PHOTO

Speaker Martin Romualdez conceded on Friday that the proposed congressional resolution calling for an amendment of the constitution will not flourish in the Senate, but he remains open to negotiation.

“If the Senate wants a different mode, that is their discretion. The House [of Representatives], however, is willing to open discussions with the Senate on their preferred mode of amending the Constitution if that will lead to an agreement between the two chambers,” said Romualdez.


“We are open to consider any proposal of the Senate and will submit such a proposal to members of the House. This was what I related to Rep. Richard Gomez when he informed me that senators are amenable to economic amendments but through con-ass,” the speaker added.

Last month, Sen. Robinhood Padilla counted on the support of his three other colleagues in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban)—Senators Francis Tolentino, Bong Go and Ronald dela Rosa—to support Charter change, dubbed Cha-cha.


He claimed that opposition Senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Risa Hontiveros would also support Cha-cha and he could persuade his fellow actors-turned-politicians Ramon Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Lito Lapid to back the cause.

He also said he could persuade Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Mark Villar and his mother, Sen. Cynthia Villar.

18 votes required

Although Padilla’s count totaled 12 senators, that is still not a majority and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said that the joint resolution proposed by the House of Representatives would require 18 votes.

Romualdez thanked Padilla and Gomez for “trying to forge an agreement between the House and the Senate on this issue.”

The House has already passed Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 calling for a constitutional convention for Charter change and House Bill No. 7325 its implementing bill.

Working to bring the measures beyond the committee level, Padilla held two public hearings on the measure.

But one of his resource persons, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who is now chief presidential legal counsel, suggested that the method and cost of the House plan were a “disservice to Filipinos.”


Enrile questioned the bases of RBH 6, saying “why call for a [constitutional convention] to amend our Constitution, if we’ll just add the phrase ‘unless otherwise provided by law’?”

Enrile said he saw the need to amend the Constitution, but stressed that the estimated cost of P15 billion was prohibitive.

As in other electoral exercises in the Philippines, the cost may also hasten price inflation, which the Marcos administration is struggling to slow down.

“It will burden the taxpayers too much,” Enrile said at a hearing of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of laws, chaired by Padilla.

“My God! We are not that rich to be throwing away money for a simple amendment of the Constitution,” he said.


Gomez says he convinced Romualdez to back con-ass to amend 1987 Constitution

Senate, House clash over charter change mode

Senate urged to tackle own charter change version

Senate panel hearing on Cha-cha ends

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TAGS: 1987 Constitution, charter change, House of Representatives
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