UCA News photo courtesy
MANIA — Camarines Sur Third District Representative Gabriel Bordado Jr. expressed apprehension on moves to push for the Charter Change saying that even President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. does not see it as a priority of his administration.
In a manifestation during Wednesday’s plenary session, Bordado said the government should exhaust all possible ways to improve the country’s economic performance rather than spending billions on changing the Constitution.
He said according to the President himself, attracting more foreign investment can be achieved without introducing amendments to the Constitution.
“According to the National Economic and Development Authority, an election in connection with the Constitutional Convention could cost the government as high as P28 billion – a cost that could be pulled down to P231 million if it would be conducted simultaneously with the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE). Now Mr. Speaker, Mr. Sponsor, would the government have enough budget to hold such electoral exercises without sacrificing the priorities we should be focusing on?” Bordado asked.
He said with the continued price increases of different commodities, the all-time-high inflation, and the lingering effects of the pandemic on our economy, a Constitutional Convention does not seem timely given the country’s limited and depleted resources.
The country registered a 14-year all-time high inflation rate of 8.1 percent in January and is expected to remain at that level during the first quarter, according to First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) Capital Markets Research.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also projected a higher inflation rate this year.
BSP Deputy Governor Francisco G. Dakila, Jr. said the January inflation was higher than what the Monetary Board had projected.
He said the BSP’s projection for January was only up to 8.3%, but inflation rose to 8.7%, higher than what was projected.
Headline inflation quickened to 8.7% in January from 8.1% in December, marking the highest in 14 years or since 9.1% in November 2008.
It was above the BSP’s forecast range of 7.5-8.3% and marked the 10th consecutive month of inflation above the central bank’s 2-4% target.
Moreover, Bordado sought clarification on the safeguards that would be put in place to protect the rights and interests of Filipinos should the Charter Change push through. (Amado Inigo/MTVN)