Salceda: People’s Initiative proponents aiming for plebiscite by mid-2024

Salceda: People’s Initiative proponents aiming for plebiscite by mid-2024

/ 03:47 PM January 18, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — People’s Initiative proponents are targeting mid-2024 or around July as the possible date for the plebiscite to amend the 1987 Constitution’s economic provisions, Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said on Thursday.

Salceda made this confirmation during a briefing at the House of Representatives complex after being asked if the time available to Congress was not too short, considering that the 2025 midterm elections are less than 18 months away.

“Yes, as far as it was explained to me by the proponents, they wanna hit it before July.  July, plebiscite.  Yeah, I confirm that I confirm that,” Salceda told reporters.


“I know that July is the timeline […] that (was mentioned) during such discussion and explanation by the proponents of the People’s Initiative,” he added.


When asked if this confirmation aligns with Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel’s allegation — that a timeline with July 8 as the certification of the proposal’s approval already exists — Salceda joked that Manuel may have made the timeline for the proponents.

However, Salceda maintained that this was what the proponents wanted, noting that the spirit of the People’s Initiative, as the name suggests, rests on voters from each legislative district.

“The issue here is the fact that the reckoning of the Constitution is by this June.  I did not invent that, so how do you reckon now? It is the Constitution that made the district as the point of reckoning, not Congress,” he said.

“And since I believe — oh my God, I’ve been in this Congress since 1998, I’ve always fought for (Charter change).  Kasi ‘pag tinignan mo oh, lahat ng chart nagsho-show now na we started to break away downwards from the entire Asia in 1997, where we started falling behind.  And I was an analyst in the stock market and I know just what happened to us — everybody else opened up, we closed,” he added.

House leaders, particularly Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., have been calling for a Charter change to amend the 1987 Constitution’s restrictive economic provisions to let more foreign investments in.

READ: Romualdez mulling revisiting Cha-cha for economic provision amendments


But instead of a constituent assembly or a constitutional convention, the House leaders said last December 2023 that the changes may be sought using a People’s Initiative, where voters will sign a signature campaign calling for amendments.

READ: Amending Constitution last piece of the puzzle for economic growth — Romualdez

Meanwhile, several Minority lawmakers have contested the way that signatures were supposedly garnered, as Albay 2nd District Rep. Edcel Lagman claimed that public funds within the Commission on Elections (Comelec) were being used for the People’s Initiative push.

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However, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co maintained that Comelec’s restored funds for 2024 were borne out of a request from the poll body’s officials.

TAGS: Cha-cha, Joey Salceda, People's Initiative

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