House lawmakers press Senate anew: Pass RBH 6 soon

House reps press Senate again to pass RBH 6 on Charter change soon

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 02:27 PM February 09, 2024

PHOTO: House plenary hall with the House logo superimposed. STORY: House lawmakers press Senate anew: Pass RBH 6 soon

House legislators are again asking the Senate to immediately act on Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, which proposes amending certain economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — House legislators on Friday called on the Senate to immediately act on Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, which proposes amending certain economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

“It is high time for the Senate to prove whether they are genuine partners in nation-building or mere obstructionists. The passage of RBH No. 6 is a litmus test of their commitment to meaningful reforms that will benefit the Filipino people,” Deputy Speaker David Suarez said in a statement.


He added that the Senate must now prioritize the urgent need for economic constitutional reform, especially since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had already expressed full support for efforts to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution.


READ: Marcos wants only economic reforms in Constitution

“The successful passage of RBH No. 6 will not only validate the efforts of the administration to promote economic development but also vindicate the aspirations of millions of Filipinos for a better and brighter future,” Suarez said.

“It is our collective responsibility as legislators to rise above partisan interests and work together towards the common goal of building a more prosperous and resilient Philippines.”

Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Barbers shared similar sentiments in a separate statement, expressing hope that Marcos’ support would finally put an end to the widening rift between the Senate and the House of Representatives – the two chambers of the Philippine Congress.

READ: Senate, House clash over people’s initiative for Charter change


“The President has broken his silence and finally endorsed constitutional economic reforms. Senators should at the very least listen. They have been calling on the President to settle the issue. They now got what they are asking for. The prolonged word war between the Senate and the House of Representatives should now hopefully come to an end and start working,” Barbers said.

“[T]his should clear the doubts of some Senators, especially from a former party-list colleague, that the House wants more than economic reforms to the 37-year-old charter. The President’s remarks are the endorsement we all need to assure the Senate that there is no basis in their accusations against alleged House plans to abolish it or take it out of the equation,” he added.

Barbers also noted that “now is the time for the Senate to rise above the pathetic name-calling and malicious allegations and prove that it is not an obstructionist to the opening up of the domestic economy to the foreign market, where there will be fewer oligopolies in the country resulting in more competition, with only the Filipino people benefitting.”

“Again, the time to do this was yesterday. We are running out of time, and we’re being left behind by our Asian neighbors. To reiterate, this is a risk worth taking because, at the end of the day, this will be the subject of a plebiscite, where the Filipino people will have the final say,” Barbers said.

READ: Marcos separately meets House, Senate amid Cha-cha debates

Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., meanwhile, underscored how the President’s declaration ignites hope among House members and constitutional reform advocates that “we can finish this within the term of the President and this Congress.”

“This advocacy is always DOA [dead on arrival] when it comes to the Senate. Now, due to the full support of President Marcos, it is alive and I hope we can quickly finish the expected reform of the Constitution for the sake of the country and our countrymen,” Gonzales said in Filipino.

Gonzales likewise said that, with Marcos’ support, House leaders hoped that RBH No. 6 would be passed by March.

“We still hope that they [the Senate] can pass RBH No. 6 in March, as agreed on by Senate President [Juan Miguel] Zubiri and Speaker Martin Romualdez before our president,” he said.

“If they pass it in October, it would be like they killed RBH 6.”

He cited the remark of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that if the approval of the measure would take that long, it would overshadow preparations for the 2025 midterm elections.

According to Gonzales, the House will quickly adopt RBH No. 6 as soon as it is sent to the chamber.

For his part, Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez welcomed Marcos’ declaration of support to amend the “restrictive” economic provisions of the Constitution.

“I think our push for economic reform in the Charter, which the Senate has always ignored and sent to the graveyard, is at last now alive and kicking with the President’s pronouncement,” Rodriguez said.

“That of course will depend on how senators respond to President Marcos’ statements. And I hope that they respond positively by treating Charter reform with a sense of urgency.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

He repeated the assurance given by Romualdez, a cousin of the president, that the House would quickly adopt RBH No. 6 as soon as it could be sent by the Senate.

“We are just waiting for senators to send us their own resolution, and as the Speaker has declared, we will promptly adopt it. There is hope that we could soon finish what we failed to complete for more than three decades since the 8th Congress,” Rodriguez said.

TAGS: 1987 Constitution, charter change, Congress, House of Representatives, Senate

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.