February 24, 2024

Charter reform can be PBBM, 19th Congress’ legacy

SENIOR Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. on Friday lauded President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s declaration of full support for the House of Representatives push for economic reform in the Constitution.

“Changing the language of the Charter’s restrictive economic provisions to enable the country to attract more foreign investments can be the legacy of PBBM and the 19th Congress,” he said a day after the President’s Philconsa speech.

He said the President’s declaration ignites hope among House members and those advocating constitutional reform that “we can finish this within the term of the President and this Congress.”

“Palaging DOA ang adbokasyang into pagdating sa Senado. Ngayon, dahil sa full support ng Pangulong Marcos, ito ay buhay at sana’y matapos namin kaagad ang inaasahang reporma sa Saligang Batas para sa kapakanan ng bansa at ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.

Gonzales added the House is not giving the Senate any deadline to finish deliberations on and pass Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri’s Resolution of Both Houses No. 6.

“The Senate president has a self-imposed timeline – adopt the resolution, to quote him, ‘this quarter, before the Holy Week break.’ We are just going by that pronouncement,” he added.

He reiterated the assurance of Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez that the House would quickly adopt RBH No. 6 as soon as it is sent to it.

The Speaker has welcomed the President’s statement that stressed the need and urgency for amending the Constitution’s “restrictive” economic provisions.

“The President made it clear that these provisions hinder the entry of foreign investments and the potential for faster and inclusive economic growth, which in turn could translate into a better life for every Filipino,” he said.

“We are happy that he also took note of our consistent advocacy in the House of Representatives for changing those restrictive provisions for more than three decades since the 8th Congress, or since 36-37 years ago,” Speaker Romualdez, the leader of the 300-plus-strong House said.

Romualdez also lauded the President’s assurance that his support for reform, to quote him, “extends to economic matters only…nothing more.”

“At the risk of being makulit, we have been saying that we do not advocate any political amendment,” he said.