Robin Padilla submits proposed amendments to economic provisions of 1987 Constitution
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Robinhood Padilla, chairman of the upper chamber’s panel on constitutional amendments, on Friday released his unnumbered committee report proposing amendments to economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution through a constituent assembly.
“To accelerate economic growth and fulfill its international commitment, the Philippines must amend its Constitution by removing restrictive economic provisions to allow foreign businesses to invest in a more conducive landscape directly,” a part of the report stated.
But there’s still a long way to go to get the proposal to the Senate plenary since only Padilla’s signature is so far affixed on the report
Listed below are the amendments sought by the Padilla-drafted committee report.
Article XII – National Economy and Patrimony
- The State may directly explore, develop, and utilize natural resources, or it may enter into co-production, joint venture, or production-sharing agreements with Filipino citizens or corporations or associations, at least 60 per centum of those whose capital is owned by such citizens unless otherwise provided by law.
- Private corporations or associations may not hold such alienable lands of the public domain except by lease for a period not exceeding 25 years and not to exceed 1,000 hectares in the area unless otherwise provided by law.
- Save in cases of hereditary succession; no private lands shall be transferred or conveyed except to individuals, corporations, or associations qualified to acquire or hold lands of the public domain unless otherwise provided by law.
- The Congress may, by law, solely for the purpose of foreign direct investment, allow:
- Aliens to acquire private lands not exceeding 1,000 square meters in area
- Foreign-owned corporations to acquire rural private lands not exceeding five hectares in area
- The Congress shall, upon the recommendation of the economic and planning agency, and when the national interest dictates, reserve areas of investment to citizens of the Philippines or, unless otherwise provided by law, to corporations or associations at least 60 per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens.
- No franchise, certificate, or any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines, at least 60 per centum of whose capital is owned by such citizens unless otherwise provided by law.
- Participation of foreign investors in the governing body of any public utility enterprise shall be limited to their proportionate share in its capital, and unless otherwise provided by law, all the executive and managing officers of such corporation or association must be citizens of the Philippines.
Article XIV – Education, Science and Technology, Arts, Culture and Sports
- Educational institutions, other than those established by religious groups and mission boards, shall be owned solely by citizens of the Philippines or corporations or associations at least 60 per centum of which is owned by such citizens, unless otherwise provided by law.
- The control and administration of educational institutions shall be vested in citizens of the Philippines, unless otherwise provided by law.
Article XVI – General Provisions
- The ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens, unless otherwise provided by law.
- Only Filipino citizens or associations at least 70 per centum of the capital of which is owned by such citizens shall be allowed to engage in the advertising industry, unless otherwise provided by law.
- Participation of foreign investors in the governing body of entities in such industry shall be limited to their proportionate share in the capital thereof, and all the executive and managing officers of such entities must be citizens of the Philippines, unless otherwise provided by law.
“The amendment to the Constitution is to allow higher foreign investment or capital in various economic activities that would generate jobs for the people, induce higher wages, improve performance of service sectors and reduce the cost of goods and services through economic competition, which are evident benefits gained by other countries that have eased restrictions to foreign direct investments,” the committee report noted.
While Padilla has remained resolute in the push for Charter change in the upper chamber, other senators have poured cold water on the bid, citing issues on timeliness and the need to reform the Constitution amid other pressing issues.
READ: How senators are dancing, or not, to the first Cha-cha under Marcos
Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa previously said they have accepted that the proposal will not mount enough support to bring it to the Senate floor.
He, however, said PDP-Laban members in the upper chamber – including himself, Padilla, Senators Francis Tolentino, and Bong Go – are likely to sign the committee report.
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