Tune in on hearings to better understand Cha-cha, Angara urges public
MANILA, Philippines — The public must tune in on the Senate hearings on Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 (RBH6) to get a better understanding of the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution, Sen. Sonny Angara said in a statement issued on Sunday.
RBH6, which Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri filed in January, seeks to amend the provisions of the Constitution regarding foreign ownership of public utilities, education, and advertising.
According to Angara, who heads the Senate subcommittee on RBH6, the hearings are “very transparent” as the public can watch them for free on the Senate’s official YouTube channel, therefore helping them form better opinions on Charter change (Cha-cha).
“They will hear the opinions and perspectives of legal and economic experts, and these will help voters form their own views about the need to amend our Constitution,” Angara said in Filipino.
“It would help if… voters can familiarize themselves with the pros and cons of amending the economic provisions of the Constitution, as they may have to vote on these changes that could have a direct impact on their lives.”
Angara was referring to a plebiscite that Filipinos would have to vote on if a measure changing in the Constitution would pass through Congress – a vote that would either approve or reject the proposed amendments.
“If we have faith in the ability of our voters to discern who to vote for, then we should be confident in the capacity of our countrymen to determine whether changes in our Constitution will be advantageous for them,” Angara added.
He likewise called on the public to chime in on the discussions on Cha-cha by sending questions or comments to his email address — [email protected].
The Senate subcommittee on RBH6 is set to continue its deliberation on the resolution on Monday.
Plebiscite by 2025 elections
In the same statement, Angara reiterated his proposal to hold the possible plebiscite alongside the 2025 national and local elections so that people can cast their vote on Cha-cha along with their chosen leaders.
Previously, the senator made the proposal, saying that this would save the government, and in turn Filipino taxpayers, billions of pesos as holding a separate voting schedule for a plebiscite is costly.
However, Commission on Elections chief George Garcia said that the commission could not hold the two elections simultaneously.
On the other hand, Majority Floor Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe opposed the simultaneous voting for fear of “politicizing constitutional amendments.”