Sen Bong Go supports ‘economic’ Charter change

Amid calls to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go expressed his support for constitutional amendments on the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution due to the country’s current economic situation.

During his attendance at the launch of the Malasakit Center in Gov. Roque Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on Thursday, Go said it is time for the charter change on economic provisions as he emphasized the need to attract more foreign investors as the country’s economy suffers and Filipinos lose their jobs due to the pandemic.

“Iba po ang panahon ngayon, kailangang luwagan konti ang mga investors na gustong pumasok dito sa atin. ‘Pag maraming investors, mas maraming trabaho ‘pag may magbubukas kahit na dayuhan (Times are different now, we need to ease down a bit for the investors who want to enter the country. If there are many investors, there would be more jobs even if they are foreigners),” Go said.

But he emphasized that he only supports the economic revision of the Constitution and not other provisions that could only benefit some politicians.

Earlier, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said lawmakers have discussed amending the Constitution with President Rodrigo Duterte in November.

Duterte suggested amending some economic provisions and the party-list system, Sotto said. Duterte also thumbed down amending provisions on term extension.

The House of Representatives began discussing the proposed charter change on January 13. Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 proposes to “liberalize the restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution,” which, according to House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, is preventing the Philippines “from becoming fully competitive with our Asian neighbors.”

The business community has expressed its support for the move, with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Benedicto Yujuico saying with the proposed amendments to the restrictive economic provisions, the country will be more competitive, will boost foreign investments, “and address monopolistic, uncompetitive behaviors and under-investments in some sectors critical to the public interest”.

Meanwhile, Go said in January he will thoroughly study plans to amend the economic provisions in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, particularly now that the country aims to recover swiftly from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pag-aralan po natin ang economic provisions dahil kailangan natin ng more investments going back to our recovery and restoration of normalcy sa ating bayan. Marami rin pong dapat silipin to encourage more investors (We would study the economic provisions because we need more investments going back to our recovery and restoration of normalcy in our country. There are still plenty [of provisions] to review to encourage more investors),” he added. (PR)

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