Padilla: End discrimination on basis or race, religion, against ex-convicts

Pimentel, Poe buck Padilla’s Cha-cha push

A day after filing the measure, Senator Robin Padilla’s push to amend the 1987 Constitution’s economic provisions already received opposition from two senior senators.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday said, amending the Constitution should not be a priority considering the problems that the country is facing right now such as inflation, unemployment, and corruption.

“Our people are too preoccupied with daily living struggles. Although we need constitutional changes to improve our system of government, this can wait as we should first address the basic daily living problems like: where to get food to feed the family, the continued increase in prices (inflation), where to get a job, corruption, the high cost of living and even of dying, and many many more basic problems,” explained Pimentel.

“Also, why prioritize the changing of the economic provisions in the Constitution when what needs to be changed are the political provisions?,” he added.

On the other hand, Senator Grace Poe argued that the 18th Congress had already passed several legislation to address the so-called economic restrictions under the 1987 Constitution.

“As for the economic provisions, we’ve passed major legislations that clarified the economic provisions of the Constitution,” she said in a separate text message to reporters.

“The Public Service Act [and] Trade Liberalization Act, both are meant to encourage more investments, employment and economic growth. There’s no need at the moment for a Con-Ass, unless the proponents are pushing for another agenda,” she added.

On Wednesday, Padilla filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 3 which seeks to amend several economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution through a Constituent Assembly.

“These economic provisions are perceived to be barriers to trade and investment responsible for the continuous decline of foreign direct investments,” Padilla said in his resolution.

Despite the country’s offer of tax holidays and other fiscal incentives, Padilla said the Philippines is now lagging behind other ASEAN countries in foreign direct investment registry due to its  complicated investment regulations that emanated from the prohibitive economic provisions of the Constitution.

“To accelerate economic growth and fulfill its international commitment, the Philippines must amend its Constitution by removing these restrictive economic provisions to allow foreign businesses to directly invest in a more conducive landscape,” he added.

Under Section XVII of the 1987 Constitution, any amendment or revision to the Constitution may be proposed by Congress upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members or through a constitutional convention (Con-con).

In a con-con, the people who will amend the charter will be elected by the people. —Hana Bordey/ VAL, GMA Integrated News

This article Pimentel, Poe buck Padilla’s Cha-cha push was originally published in GMA News Online.

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