Easing restrictions on foreign investors will not affect the investment climate and generate much needed investments and jobs
By ROGER M. BALANZA
Members of the Constitutional Commission (ConCom) that drafted the 1987 Constitution shot down claims by legislators that amending economic provisions of the Charter would brighten the country’s road to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rather than spend precious time and energy on Charter Change (Cha-Cha), Congress should instead focus its priorities on the COVID-19 crisis and the coming presidential elections in 2022, said Constitution Framer and former Supreme Court justice Vicente Mendoza.
Amending the economic provisions of the Constitution to ease restrictions on foreign investors “will not affect the investment climate and generate much needed investments and jobs, ” said Rosario Braid, another member of the 1986 ConCom.
Mendoza and Braid expressed their positions against ChaCha on January 27 at the start of the hearing of the Senate committees on constitutional amendments on proposed economic amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
“The education of the people for wise voting and the preparation for clean, honest, and credible elections that can spell good government in this country demand the patriotism of everyone. We need to summon all our will to bring the patriotic spirit back to the people. These are two challenges that we have to confront before we can speak of any other change in the Constitution,” Mendoza said at the hearing.
“During a period of instability and because of need to focus on the pandemic, it may not be the right time to open the economy,” Braid told the senators.
“I do not believe this is the time for charter change given that one, the threat of the pandemic; and two the great challenge of securing in this country good government and that is tied to the next elections, national and local,” said Mendoza.
Both said that economic recovery will follow once these two challenges are met.
Another framer of the 1987 Constitution said the present attempt on charter change is motivated by power and money.
Lawyer Christian Monsod made the comment in an interview as legislators start tinkering with the Constitution to amend its economic provisions.
The Senate committees on constitutional amendments has started hearings on proposed economic amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
At the House of Representatives, a motion has been filed by House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco seeking to convene Congress as a constituent assembly to amend Articles XII, XIV, and XVI of the Constitution.
“There have been five previous attempts to change the Constitution….all of these past attempts were unsuccessful because the people perceived the articulated purposes as a smokescreen for self-serving ends,” Monsod said.
“The real motive, just like previous attempts, is power and money,” sadi Monsod.