Charter change to reduce unemployment, says lawmaker | Inquirer News

Charter change to reduce unemployment, says lawmaker

/ 08:27 PM January 10, 2024

factory workers, employment issue

Workers at a medicine factory in the Philippines (AFP FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. on Wednesday claimed that amending the 1987 Constitution would bring down unemployment rates further as it would allow foreign investments to enter the country, and generate jobs.

Gonzales said this in a statement on Wednesday, urging the Senate to heed the supposed clamor of businesses to remove restrictive economic provisions and open the economy to foreign businesses.


“So we are urging the Senate, which has consistently resisted any form of Charter change, to heed the clamor of the business sector. We can accelerate capital formation and hasten our economic growth for the benefit of our people if we can introduce constitutional reform,” he said.


Gonzales said this after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that joblessness in the country eased to 3.6 percent, down from 4.2 percent in October 2023.

This represents an 18-year low unemployment rate.

More jobs may be created should restrictions in foreign ownership within the constitution be addressed, Gonzales said.

 “This means that there were an additional 260,000 of our labor force who got themselves employed in jobs created in the economy through investments. We could create more job and income opportunities for our people if we could attract more investments, especially funds from foreign investors,” he added.

Gonzales and Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez are seeking charter change, possibly through a People’s Initiative, to open the economy to foreign investments. 

Last February 2023, during President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s working trip to Japan, Romualdez said that they believe amending the 1987 Constitution is the last piece of the puzzle for economic growth.

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TAGS: charter change, Constitution, House of Representatives

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