Another feeble attempt at Cha-cha
INTROSPECTIVE - Tony F. Katigbak (The Philippine Star) - December 17, 2019 - 12:00am

It’s like the lesson we just never learn. Or perhaps never want to learn. But every single administration set their sights on amending the Constitution and every single one – up to this point – has failed to do so.

In paper updating the Constitution seems like a good idea. There are provisions in there that are hopelessly outdated and things have changed drastically over the years. Our Constitution doesn’t take into account many things that have happened in the past years including new technologies and the way new generations think.

What’s more economic amendments are necessary to make the country more desirable for foreign investments and partnerships that would bolster the current economic state and create more business that would, in turn, more jobs for Filipinos. In the end that’s the main concern when it comes to constitutional amendments.

However, thanks to the politicians we have in power this amendment is never going to see the light of day, because they can’t seem to put aside their own political aspirations long enough to make these necessary amendments without touching term limits and similar election and political processes.

It’s just like clockwork, once constitutional amendment is discussed, term limits comes into play. They just can’t leave well enough alone. This is why other attempts in the past have failed and this is why the latest attempt is going to fail as well. Not only do our politicians make it seem like what they really care about is their own political agenda instead of what really matters to the country but they aren’t even subtle about it.

Plus, at the end of the day, we can’t even agree on term limits in general. When you have a good politician in power – one term seems way too short. But once you replace him or her with a bad one, one terms seems like a lifetime. This is why term limits are still sacred and why we can’t afford to allow current politicians to make changes to them.

At the end of the day, everyone knows what Cha-cha is really for and this is why it will never fly. The president has even given up federalism for the remainder of his term. It’s just a waste of time to keep proposing amendments that are just not going to happen. Like this current attempt that congress is making is sure to be dead when it reaches the Senate. They have been very consistent about this in the past and this time is no different.

And that just means that, once again, Congress has wasted their precious time trying to achieve something that was destined to fail. Why would they do that instead of focusing their efforts on something that truly mattered and had the possibility of passing into law? We barely have enough time as is and if congressmen really mean what they claim to say when they say their term limits are too short to really make a difference then wouldn’t it follow that they should not waste their time on frivolous matters but instead on legislation that could really make a difference in the lives of Filipino people?

 If economic reform and helping boost investment is the real reason behind the cha-cha attempts there are other ways to go about this that don’t require constitutional amendments. Sure there are provisions in there that make it difficult, but these aren’t the only reasons that investments aren’t pouring in.

The government can instead choose to look around at potential other reasons why foreign investments may not be at an all-time high. There are other reasons like infrastructure, government stability, safety concerns, skills requirements, and the like. They can choose to focus on building up these areas instead of beating a dead cha-cha horse.

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And speaking of creating jobs and foreign investments, we should also take care of the investors we currently have in the Philippines as these companies keep expanding showcasing their belief and dedication in the country and in Filipino talent.

One of those companies is Sitel, a leading global customer care provider, which just opened its 14th customer experience center in Tarlac, creating an additional 1,500 jobs for talents in the region. With the official inauguration of their latest center – their third in Tarlac and 14th in the country – Sitel sustains its steady growth trajectory in the Philippines and reiterates its commitment to bringing jobs to the countryside.

Companies like this not only invest heavily in the country but in Filipino talent and help promote the agenda of bringing jobs outside of Metro Manila. They provide training to help upskill local talents and invest in local communities in the rural countryside helping the local government and the academe create international job-friendly provinces.

If they continue on this expansion track, Sitel and companies like it, will not only be investing n the country, but uplifting job prospects outside of Metro Manila helping to improve the lives of our countrymen in the provinces and helping decongest Metro Manila at the same time.

If we focus our efforts on these types of efforts and promote these types of partnerships we can leave Cha-cha alone. We have a lot of potential in the country and we should put our efforts and resources into those that are already bearing fruit.

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