Enrile pushes Charter change
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile pushed for Charter change (Cha-Cha) when he led the opening of the second regular session of the 15th Congress on Monday.
“Perhaps, now is the time to explore the possibility of introducing amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. This will require the stamina, the will, the courage and the sacrifices of each and everyone of us if we really want to make this country move forward,” Enrile said in his speech.
“This very important issue must be debated on openly and intelligently and extensively as we try to help infuse the economy with sufficient stimuli that will spur growth in our industries and businesses and create more jobs for our people,” he said.
Enrile acknowledged that congressional action on his proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution might not come soon enough but he stressed that “now is the appropriate time, not later, to lay it down on the table.”
“As elected officials, we should be bold enough, willing enough to gamble our future to finally discuss the need to initiate this,” Enrile added.
The Senate, he said, would not also back down on its duty to expose any irregularity in government.
“It is the duty of the Senate of the people of this country to stand up courageously against all odds to expose venalities in government wherever those venalities may come from,” he said.
“My distinguished colleagues, our people expect us to make tough decisions. We can no longer afford to be complacent. We have to assume the seriousness of real representatives of the people and the alertness that goes with that function. We were elected to be their voice and guardian of their common will in their hope to finally see significant reforms in our society. They chose us to help the national government govern rightly and justly,” he further said.
The Senate leader also enjoined his colleagues to pass “promptly” the proposed 2012 budget just like what the chamber did in the 2011 national budget.
“This will be an opportune time to assess the various programs of this administration under what they called a ‘reform budget,’” he said.
Enrile also readies his colleagues as he expects the chamber to start plenary debates on the controversial Reproductive Health bill.
The Senate leader likewise urged his colleagues to act on other priority measures like a National Land Use Policy, Anti Trust Bill, and a bill rationalizing fiscal incentives, among others.
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