As House’s Cha-cha chugs on different track, Robin insists on econ tweaks for now

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
As House�s Cha-cha chugs on different track, Robin insists on econ tweaks for now
Sen. Robinhood Padilla speaks during a committee hearing at the Senate on Tuesday, February 28, 2023.
Senate PRIB / Voltaire F. Domingo

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Robinhood Padilla said Tuesday that the push to amend the Constitution’s economic provisions will still be his priority for now even if a House of Representatives panel approved measures that would pave the way for an overhaul of the Charter through a constitutional convention.

Padilla warned of a potential deadlock between the Senate and the House on Charter change should the lower chamber push for what he called a lengthy and expensive process of revising the Constitution by convening a new body to propose changes composed of appointed and elected delegates.

“We don’t have the money for us to hold another election and have new people to pay,” Padilla said in Filipino in a media interview. “Let’s focus first on the economic provisions. For me, let’s start with the most economical, with the option that won’t shock the people too much.”

The House constitutional amendments committee approved Monday an unnumbered bill that sets out the guidelines for the constitutional convention which would propose amendments to or revisions of the Charter. This bill is the accompanying measure to the previously passed Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 which calls for such a body.

Padilla, who chairs the Senate’s counterpart panel, is pushing for Congress to convene itself into a constituent assembly solely to propose amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution which he said are too restrictive for foreign investment to come in.

But this is not set in stone as he said that his stance may change if people in his regional consultations beginning March 2 in Davao City would be in favor of con-con and opening other provisions to amendments or revisions.

“The House of Representatives said they are pushing for a con-con because they have conducted public hearings and people asked for a con-con. The people asked that there be changes in the form of government and for there to be term extension,” Padilla said.

Still, Padilla claimed that more senators would be supportive of Cha-cha if it solely tackled economic provisions, although he admitted that he is still far from mustering a majority as he counted only at least four senators — all from PDP-Laban — on his side.

Many senators are so far cool to Cha-cha, which has not been identified by the chamber’s leadership as one of its priorities.

“President [Ferdinand Marcos Jr.] already said that Cha-cha is not the administration’s priority. What we should talk about and prioritize are the answers and solutions to our problems. Hopefully, hungry stomachs would be prioritized, not con-con or Cha-cha,” Sen. Nancy Binay said in a statement.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with