Economic Cha-cha to draw more investments, says economist | Inquirer News

Economic Cha-cha to draw more investments, says economist

/ 07:46 PM February 12, 2024

Fabella made his remark during the Senate’s hearing on Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 — a measure containing proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

“I am in favor of lifting constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership and I, of course, prefer a quick Charter change process as possible,” said Fabella.


The economist said he believes that progress of most nations boils down to investment.


Citing an example, he said “countries that invest less overtime eat the dust of countries that invest more.

“The Philippine investment rate is traditionally lowest among the major ASEAN countries. For example in 2022, our investment rate was 22.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product.  Vietnam had 33, Thailand had 27.9 and Indonesia had 29 percent,” he explained.

According to Fabella, there are many reasons why the Philippine investment rate is abysmal.

“We have closed many economic sectors from investments both local and foreign. Agriculture was closed for all the time from large private investors because of the property rights shambles. Mining and forestry were from time to time forbidden for a massive private and foreign investment,” he said.

But while he is in favor of lifting the “restrictive rules” of the Constitution, Fabella admitted that this will not immediately reverse the country’s downward investment rate, highlighting the need to have a better rule of law, lower power cost, and better infrastructure.

“I concur with the proposal to lift section 11 of article 12 and indeed, if you insist, all other policy instruments masquerading as basic values in the 1987 Constitution,” he concluded.


Zeroing in on the economy

More than 300 Charter change (Cha-cha) measures have been filed in the past, said Senator Sonny Angara, but the Senate’s ongoing debates on proposed economic amendments to the 1987 Constitution covered the “first in-depth” discussion on the issue. 

Citing data from the House of Representatives, Angara said there have been 358 proposed Cha-cha measures over the “last 37 or 38 years,” which roughly is an amendment proposed once every 10 years.

“I guess, if we’re talking about political maturity, we have to ask ourselves, is the process we are going through a part of our  political maturity? Definitely engaging in it, talking about it in front of our people in an open and transparent manner, it helps the people, because let’s face it, the Constitution is not very important to some of them,” said Angara during the Senate’s Monday hearing on Resolutions of Both Houses No. 6.

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“So, I think, in that sense, it is an educational process for our people. And I think this is the first time we’ve really gone in depth in terms of discussing the economic provisions because we’ve been sidetracked,” he added. 


TAGS: Cha-cha, Constitution, Investments

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