Escudero-led Senate urged to pass economic Cha-cha

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Escudero-led Senate urged to pass economic Cha-cha
Senate President Francis “Chiz” Escudero on May 20, 2024.
STAR / Jesse Bustos

MANILA, Philippines —  Newly installed Senate President Francis Escudero should pass the economic Charter change bill that congressmen have approved, especially in light of a recent survey supporting the move, three top officials of the House of Representatives said yesterday.

The May 21-25 Tangere survey of 1,500 nationwide respondents showed that support for economic Charter amendments increased by two percentage points compared to the previous month.

The Tangere survey also noted strong support for Charter change among respondents from Metro Manila, Southern Luzon and Bicol region.

An earlier survey by pollster Pulse Asia, however, showed an overwhelming 88 percent of respondents against Charter change.

In the Tangere survey, six to seven in 10 respondents believed in the advantages of the amendment proposals, including the creation of more jobs (72 percent), higher economic growth (68 percent), increase in salaries and work benefits (67 percent), and decrease in the prices of goods and services (63 percent).

“I think the Senate should listen to the people’s voice. New SP Escudero should do what his predecessor failed to do, and they should do it as soon as possible,” senior deputy speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. said.

Gonzales, deputy speaker Jayjay Suarez and House Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe said the survey showing 57 percent of Filipinos support proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution “should prompt the new Senate leadership to pass the amendment proposals ASAP.”

Suarez, who represents the second district of Quezon province, said the new Escudero leadership “should pick up the pieces from the recent Senate ruckus and work on the passage of Resolution of Both Houses 6 as early as possible.”

“So far, new Senate President Escudero has spoken on a lot of things, except the proposed economic constitutional amendments,” he said.

For his part, Dalipe said the Senate may pass Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 shortly after the convening of the third and last regular session of the 19th Congress on July 22.

“But senators have to realize that the window of opportunity for them to approve economic Charter reforms is fast closing,” he said.

The Zamboanga City congressman said lawmakers and the general public would be on campaign-election mode once candidates file their certificates of candidacy in October for the May 2025 elections.

“We won’t be able to accomplish much after that. That’s the reality of this situation,” Dalipe said.

He added that the Tangere survey showed “more than majority support for economic Charter amendments.”

Gonzales said the public consultations the Senate special committee on constitutional amendments has been conducting have been disrupted with the resignation of committee chairman Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, who belongs to the bloc of former Senate president Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri.

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