House plenary debates on Cha-cha to begin on Feb. 22
MANILA, Philippines — The push for economic amendments in the Constitution remains in the House of Representatives, with plenary debates on the issue beginning on February 22.
This was disclosed by the House committee on constitutional amendments panel chairperson Alfredo Garbin Jr. on Sunday.
“[February] 22 po start ng sponsorship and plenary debate,” Garbin said in a text message.
The House committee earlier adopted Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 filed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, which proposes economic amendments to the country’s charter.
Under the Resolution of Both Houses No. 2, the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” would be added to the constitutional restrictions that limit the participation of foreign investors in the governing body of entities based on their proportionate share in the capital.
The same phrase would likewise be added to provisions saying only Filipino citizens can control, own, and/or lease public utilities, educational institutions, mass media companies, and advertising companies in the country.
The House panel adopted the resolution even as critics questioned its timing especially as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. Critics likewise feared that the proposed charter change will include political provisions such as term extension for lawmakers.
However, Garbin has repeatedly assured that the proposed charter change will only cover the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
Once the plenary debates and further amendments have been proposed to the resolution, it will be up for second and third reading approval before it completely hurdles the House.
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