Lagman hopeful Senate leadership change may benefit economic Cha-cha

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Lagman hopeful Senate leadership change may benefit economic Cha-cha
House of Representatives on July 6, 2023
STAR / Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines — Latest developments in the Senate could bring about changes in the way the House of Representatives-approved economic Charter change (Cha-cha) bill will fare, which may also be passed by the senators within the year, an independent opposition lawmaker hinted.

“As I have always said… it’s always possible that a change of leadership will also enhance the chances of Charter change,” Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, president of the opposition Liberal Party, said last week after his pet divorce bill was passed by congressmen.

“But let us wait and see. Let the development unfold in the Senate because the House has already approved the Cha-cha resolution,” Lagman added, referring to Resolution of Both Houses 7, the House version of the proposed economic constitutional amendments now pending in the Senate.

Speaker Martin Romualdez earlier expressed hopes that despite the change in leadership in the Senate with Sen. Francis Escudero at the helm, senators can see the light of day and adopt the economic Cha-cha that they approved in the House.

“We will leave (the Cha-cha resolution) up to our friends in the Senate, where it remains pending,” Romualdez, president of the ruling Lakas-CMD party, told reporters in a chance interview inside the Batasan Pambansa complex in Quezon City.

“As far as I’m concerned, whatever will redound to the benefit of our countrymen, we will do it. We feel that economic reforms and amendments can do that. I’m sure that the Senate will consider it,” he added.

The Speaker, who represents the first district of Leyte province, extended his congratulations to Escudero.

“We congratulate the new Senate President Chiz Escudero. We would like also to thank Sen. Migz Zubiri for his service as the former Senate president,” Romualdez said, following Zubiri’s resignation due to the threat that he would be ousted as Senate chief.

“We look forward to continue the working relationship and partnership with the Senate, and we can only look forward to more productivity and for the efficiency in the passage of priority legislations under the administration of President Marcos, for and by the people,” he added.

Earlier, a key House leader said that the non-inclusion of the economic Cha-cha bill in the Senate’s order of business, along with the filing of another resolution by Sen. Robinhood Padilla, simply means that the chamber wants to derail its passage despite Marcos’ endorsement.

“It’s a dilatory tactic,” Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who chairs the House committee on constitutional amendments, said, referring to Padilla’s authorship of RBH8, which aims to hold a constitutional convention to amend the 1987 Constitution.

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