Robin wraps up public hearings on amending charter’s economic provisions, to discuss matter with House

Robin wraps up public hearings on amending charter’s economic provisions, to discuss matter with House

Sen. Robin Padilla (Photo courtesy of GMA Network)

MANILA — Sen. Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla on Thursday wrapped up public hearings on proposed measures to encourage more foreign investments by amending the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution – even as he will discuss the issue with counterparts from the House of Representatives this coming week.

At the hearing of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes in Cebu City, Padilla said he is duty-bound to pursue this despite criticism from some sectors — for the sake of giving Filipinos a better life in the long term.

“Kung gusto natin ng pagbabago, mayroon pong paraan. Kailangan lang po nating mamulat. Kailangan po nating magkaisa para iisa ang ating tatahaking daan tungo sa pag-unlad ng ating Inang Bayan (If we want change, there is a way. We only need to be aware. We must unite to ensure progress for our country),” he said.

“Bilang inyo pong ihinalal ng taong bayan, kami po ay obligado na gawin ito kahit na marami po ang kumukutya sa amin, marami po ang gustong pumigil sa amin. Kailangan naming gawin ito para sa inyo (As your elected officials, we are obligated to do this despite criticisms from some sectors. We are doing this for you),” he added.

During the hearing, Padilla reiterated his position that the Constitution’s economic provisions must be amended because the current Charter is one of the most restrictive in allowing Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) – making the Philippines an economic laggard in Asia.

On Monday, Padilla is to hold a hearing with House of Representatives members in attendance, to discuss the mode of amending the economic provisions, whether a constituent assembly (Con-Ass) or a constitutional convention (Con-Con). The House had passed a resolution seeking to amend the Charter’s economic provisions via Con-Con.

But Padilla also stressed that he will not allow the sneaking in of “other agenda” in amending the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution, as he maintained he is for amending the economic provisions via Con-Ass due to budget and time considerations.

“Hindi kami papayag na magkalokohan dito (We will not tolerate any nonsense here),” he said in response to the concern of Marlene Bedia, executive director of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who stressed the need for caution in amending the Constitution as “we might lose control of all the other agenda” once the issue is opened for discussion.

“Tatayo kami at maging bukal kaming magsasalita na lokohan ito. Gusto natin talaga magdulot ng ginhawa, pag-unlad at pagbabago (We will stand up and call out any attempt to insert other agenda. What we want is to give our people a more comfortable life by improving our economy),” Padilla added.

Padilla maintained he is hoping to file a committee report soonest and have it ratified via a plebiscite in time for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October.

“Yung benepisyo nito pag ito naratipikahan sa darating na barangay elections, mararamdaman natin agad ang epekto nito nang hindi madalian. Pangmatagalan ang maging epekto nito sa ating ekonomiya (The benefits of these amendments to our economy will be felt not in the short term but in the long term),” he said.

(Amado Inigo/MTVN)

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