MANILA — With 301 votes against six and one abstention, the House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a resolution calling for a constitutional convention (con-con) that would propose amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution to create more jobs and generate income to support the pro-poor programs of the government.
Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 is principally authored by Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe, Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who chairs the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments; and the Kapatiran Party.
Speaker Romualdez said the House aims to limit its Charter rewriting initiative to the “restrictive” economic provisions of the basic law “in the hope that the changes would pave the way for the country to attract more foreign investments.”
“We need additional investments that would create more job and income opportunities for our people. We need increased capital to sustain our economic growth momentum,” Speaker Romualdez said.
He reiterated that investment reform by way of tweaking the Constitution’s economic provisions could be the “final piece in the
puzzle” of improving the country’s economic and investment environment.
The committee on constitutional amendments endorsed RBH No. 6 after conducting extensive public hearings and consultations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Through the resolution, the House and the Senate resolve to call a con-con “for the purpose of proposing amendments to the economic provisions, or revision of, the 1987 Constitution.”
The resolution notes that among the three modes of proposing amendments to the Charter, the calling of a convention “would be the most transparent, exhaustive, democratic, and least divisive means of implementing constitutional reforms.”
“Extensive studies show that particular economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution need to be revisited and recrafted so that the Philippines may become globally competitive and attuned with the changing times,” the resolution stated.
It further notes that such reform has been identified by reputable business and economic groups as a key policy instrument that needs to be implemented, and these organizations feel that the economic reform by way of constitutional amendments “is now long overdue.”
It likewise cites a petition, filed by Kapatiran Party, for an indirect initiative under Republic Act (RA) No. 6735, otherwise known
as the Initiative and Referendum Act, urging the House of Representatives to pass a bill calling for a con-con.
The Rodriguez committee gave due course to such petition in its second regular meeting last January 26.
The envisioned con-con would be a hybrid assembly with elected and appointed members, with the election and appointment of delegates to be held simultaneously with the October 30, 2023 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.
The details of the election and appointment of con-con delegates would be contained in an implementing bill to be passed by Congress.