House of Representatives leaders met on Wednesday to revive a push to change the Constitution, including easing foreign ownership limits.
Party-list Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin, the newly elected chairman of the committee on constitutional amendments, said he met with Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco and several House leaders to discuss the upcoming Charter change (cha-cha) hearings.
Mr. Garbin said the Speaker had asked him to begin as “early as next week” the hearings, where plans to relax economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution will be discussed.
“The Speaker directed me to tackle the calls to amend the 1987 Constitution, especially the restrictive economic provisions,” he said by telephone on Wednesday. “We might have a hearing by next week.”
Mr.Garbin said the committee deliberations would start before sessions resume on Jan. 18.
The lawmaker said restrictive economic provisions hamper the flow of foreign investments, which the country needs to recover from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have a strong belief that this will be passed in Congress this time because it will respond to the needs of our time,” he said. ”We are lagging behind in foreign direct investments and we are one of the countries with very restrictive economic laws.”
Mr. Garbin said the changes to the economic provisions of the 33-year old Constitution would be based on the resolutions filed by Mr. Velasco in 2018. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza