June 17, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Gatchalian backs Senate resolution limiting constitutional amendment to economic provisions

SENATOR Win Gatchalian said he fully supports a proposed Senate resolution seeking discussions on constitutional amendments but limiting it to economic provisions.

“I have taken the position for the longest time to support discussions on amending certain provisions of the Constitution that would lead us to fully realize the economic potential of the country,” Gatchalian said.

The senator made the statement in reaction to the filing of a resolution led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri proposing amendments to certain economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution particularly on Articles XII, XIV, and XVI. Specifically, Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 seeks to institutionalize reforms laid down in the Public Service Act to liberalize industries, promote efficient service delivery, and promote competition as an enduring policy.

Gatchalian earlier filed Resolution of Both Houses No.1, seeking amendments to certain restrictive economic provisions. He noted that despite the country’s strong economic growth, the economy is still characterized by constitutional restrictions such as limits to foreign equity in the ownership and operation of public utilities, educational institutions, mass media, and advertising.

“In certain industries, there are restrictions for foreign ownership. Currently, in the case of operation of public utilities, only up to 40% foreign ownership is allowed while for educational institutions, even partial foreign ownership is prohibited,” cited Gatchalian.

He emphasized that to sustain economic growth, such restrictions need to be amended because they have constrained foreign direct investments (FDIs), as he noted that the Philippines is ranked as the third-most restrictive in terms of FDI among 84 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), based on the 2020 OECD FDI Restrictive Index.

“The innovations generated from competition and development of new linkages with regional and global chains will improve the diversity of the Philippines’ foreign trade portfolio and ultimately increase worker productivity and thus will not only attract foreign investments but also enable local forms to progress, invest and expand to help contribute to inclusive and sustainable development,” he emphasized.