Cha-cha to open Antique province to more investments

Cha-cha to open Antique province to more investments

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The amendments of the Constitution will open Antique to more investors, according to residents who welcomed the March 6, 2023 approval by the House of Representatives of charter change (cha-cha) that will be done through Constitutional Convention.

Provincial Board Member Pio Jessielito Sumande Sr. said in an interview Wednesday the province has a vast potential for agricultural-industrial development, but there are not many investors.

“There is really a need to revisit the 1987 Constitution particularly the restrictive economic provisions so that we could invite more investors,” Sumande said.

While 15 of the 18 municipalities of Antique are along the coastline, still there is a need to transport the fishermen’s catch to Iloilo City due to the absence of a port to accommodate big commercial fishing vessels.

The catch of the day needs to be disposed of in the market immediately due to the absence of a storage facility and canning factory.

In Iloilo, the approval of the proposed amendment to the 1987 Constitution was warmly received by elected officials.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, in an interview via viber, said it is already time to amend the Constitution, especially on the economic restrictions.

“I welcome the approval of the House of Representatives of the proposal to amend the Constitution via con-con. Election of the delegates will assure that the delegates will have the necessary mandate of the people,” the mayor said on Wednesday.

Iloilo City Lone District Representative Julienne Baronda, said love for country is among her considerations in joining 300 other members of Congress to pass on third and final reading the call for amendments via con-con to do away with the exceedingly protective economic provisions of the Constitution.

The amendment would “attract foreign investors whose investments would redound to a vibrant economy, more employment opportunities, and a much better life for us Filipinos,” she said.

Lambunao Vice Mayor Arvin Losaria, who currently sits as the vice-chairperson for Visayas of the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines National Board, said the realization of the proposed amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution will open the door for economic opportunities for the municipality.

“Most of these proposed economic provisions of our Constitution will encourage our balikbayan kasimanwas (returning townmates) and those who are married to foreign nationals to invest more in our town,” he added.

The first-class municipality in Iloilo province is predominantly an agricultural town, he said.

Iloilo City was one of the venues for the Public Consultation on Constitutional Reform conducted by the Committee on Constitutional Amendments last month.

The consultation gathered mostly positive feedback from the participants who saw the need to amend the Constitution. (PNA)

CHARTER CHANGE. The House of Representatives during their public consultation held in Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City on Feb. 13, 2023. Board Member Pio Jessielito Sumande, Sr. said in an interview Wednesday (March 8, 2023) that he favors charter change to entice more investors. (Photo courtesy of Antique PIO)

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