Why 2024 is the last opportunity to reform the 1987 Constitution under Marcos Jr. administration

READER’S VIEWS - The Freeman

There is a current People’s Initiative drive and constitutional reform paid advertisement from a certain law firm, with the ultimate goal of amending Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution stating that House of Representatives and Senate should vote jointly for any future constitutional amendments and revisions, but the problem is there isn’t yet an enabling law for People’s Initiative, so their moves to gather 7.8 million signatures nationwide that are done in a sinister manner of paying AICS and TUPAD with ?100 before they sign People’s Initiative forms reek of unethical travesty to the constitutional reform process.

The whole idea of amending or revising the 1987 Constitution is a commendable idea and should have been done periodically, but it never happened because constitutional reform advocates couldn’t respect the whole process of amending and revising the charter, and many politicians, particularly senators, have their own vested interests into keeping the 1987 Constitution fully intact because any tinkering it may affect their chances of becoming president and vice president someday. There are some 1987 Constitution framers like Christian Monsod and Hilario Davide who aren’t open to the idea of incremental constitutional amendments, out of their nostalgic reasons, where amending the Constitution is tantamount for them admitting how flawed the framing process in the 1986 Constitutional Commission was and how unelected they were as members of the said constitutional commission.

When it comes to timing to amend or revise the 1987 Constitution under the PBBM administration, this year 2024, is the best time to pursue any constitutional amendments or revisions because after the 2025 mid-term elections, people including myself would thumb down any proposals to merely amend the Constitution because politician proponents would use it as vehicles to perpetuate themselves in power. 2024 should be the pinnacle point of the current administration where he could pursue necessary structural economic and political reforms, including reforming the 1987 Constitution.

There are many provisions in the 1987 Constitution that need to be amended like repealing the 60% Filipino equity ownership requirement for constitutionally-restricted industries, shifting from unitary-presidential to federal-parliamentary system, and the officialization of regional languages and Spanish.

When it comes to repealing the 60% Filipino equity ownership requirement, it is important that our country must apply the so-called Golden Rule when it comes to attracting foreign investments where our laws need to be favorable to them like shielding them from bad business practices of Filipino corporations of stealing the intellectual property of foreign corporations under joint venture ownership arrangements. Allowing 100% foreign equity ownership in real estate will allow more foreign digital nomads and retirees to come into the country and live permanently because giving them full ownership of land would entice them to put up business for job generation for local Filipinos because, as full foreign landowner, they could use their land properties as collateral in local commercial banks for capital.

Shifting from unitary-presidential to federal-parliamentary would remove the so-called divisive separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches and would make the government consensus-driven, not adversarial-driven, and regions and provinces would have more sway into deciding their policies in their jurisdictions without national government’s interference.

Officializing Philippine regional languages and Spanish would ensure that language diversity in our country is maintained by allowing Filipino citizens to be entitled to have their pertinent documents written in Cebuano or Spanish or have court proceedings to be in the language fully understood by both respondents and respondents. It will compel the government through Department of Education (DepEd) to offer 12-year language courses in Philippine languages and Spanish in the basic education.

I hope that constitutional reform proponents should respect the entire process of amending and revising the 1987 Constitution and refrain from bribing individuals into signing a proposed unconstitutional revision of Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. They should fully inform the people what are their true motives for the constitutional reform like educating the pros and cons of constitutional reform in the grassroots level, not in an asinine negative advertisement against the 1987 Constitution on mainstream media.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
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