Gabriela solon: Biz groups’ non-support of Cha-cha shows risks of amending Constitution
MANILA, Philippines — Key business groups’ pullout of support for Charter change (Cha-cha) proposals only highlight that even those who support economic liberalization acknowledge its risks, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said on Monday.
Brosas in a statement referred to the opposition of the Makati Business Club and five other groups to Charter change proposals, particularly the proposed constitutional convention recently approved by the House of Representatives.
According to the lady lawmaker, the risks for Cha-cha are too high, especially for a process that is deemed too costly.
“As the MBC-led business bloc abandons the Cha-cha train, the push for ConCon is further exposed as politically motivated and bereft of backing even by pro-economic liberalization groups,” Brosas said.
“The risks are too high under the proposed ConCon, aside from the steep spending bill estimated at over P28 billion. Imagine letting the Con-Con delegates tinker with any part of the charter – even provisions on term limits, dynasties, and bill of rights,” she added.
READ: Charter change will disrupt national unity, recovery – Lagman
Constitutional convention, one of the three ways that the 1987 Constitution can be amended, is considered costly because delegates would have to be elected, unlike a constituent assembly where sitting members of the House and the Senate will be considered delegates.
According to estimates from opposition groups, the cost would be anywhere between P15 billion to P28 billion, as delegates who would participate will get a P10,000 per diem for every day present.
READ: Lawmaker hits proposed P10,000 a day stipend for con-con delegates
READ: Not a peso should be spent for Con-con; give P28B to poor families instead — Makabayan
However, even officials within the administration’s circle like former Senate president and now Chief Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile have opposed the proposal, as it would be a ‘disservice’ to put the burden on taxpayers.
READ: Charter change via con-con a ‘disservice’ to Filipinos, says Enrile
Brosas hopes that more organizations speak up against charter change, especially female business chambers, claiming that the proposal really cannot solve the economic woes encountered by the country.
She also urged colleagues in the Senate to defer discussions on charter change — saying that talks should instead center on how to help workers cope with rising costs of basic goods.
“We welcome this change of heart of the Makati Business Club along with other business groups and female business chambers as regards Chacha. We hope other big business chambers will join the growing opposition against the costly constitutional convention or ConCon which does not carry any immediate solution to our economic woes,” said Rep. Brosas.
“Dagdag-sahod dapat ang talakayin ng parehong Kamara at Senado at tiyakin ang pagpasa ng mga panukala para sa kagyat na alwan ng mga manggagawa bago ang Mayo Uno, hindi itong ConCon na pilit na pilit at hindi nakatono sa hinaing ng sambayanang Pilipino,” she added.
(Both the House and the Senate should focus discussions on salary increases for workers and ensuring that pro-workers bills would be passed before May 1 — not this Con-con which is being forced, and is not attuned to the needs of the Filipino people.)
READ: House-Senate meetings on Cha-cha during session break pushed
READ: House passes bill to implement RBH No. 6 for creation of con-con to amend charter
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