Angara: Time might be ripe to revisit economic provisions of 1987 Constitution

While some of his colleagues immediately shut down the idea of Charter change, Senator Sonny Angara said Monday time might be ripe to review the 1987 Constitution, particularly the economic provisions.

“I think the time might be ripe to revisit some of the provisions of the Constitution because you know it’s a 1987 vintage. It’s [been] almost 40 years and the world has changed a lot [since] 1987. I think economic boundaries have come down,” Angara said in an interview on ANC.

He also agreed with the need to review the economic provisions as mentioned by House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.  

“The Speaker mentioned the economic provisions being reviewed. So, I think, that is something worth reviewing because we need some flexibility in that area also,” he added.

He said among the economic provisions that should be reviewed are the restrictions on allowing foreign mass media, foreign educational institutions and professors to come to the country, and foreign advertising agencies.

However, Angara is against allowing foreign land ownership in the Philippines.

“A lot of the provisions are outdated in that respect,” he said.

For Angara, those pushing for Cha-cha should always bear in mind the welfare of the country and the Filipino people noting that previous attempts were seen as self-promoting.

“I think the greater controversy really lies on the amendment of political provisions–the term of the president, the terms of incumbent officials. Would that apply to the incumbents? Of course, that’s where people start to get worried because the attempts in the past were seen as very self-promoting or self-interested,” he said.

“So, what we want are honest-to-goodness Charter change discussions on the merits and the benefits to the country and the people should be clear and not the benefits to the incumbents,” he added.

Angara’s position was different from the view of Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri who said that the country “don’t need any amendment at this particular point in time.”

Apart from Zubiri, Senator Cynthia Villar, and Senator Imee Marcos—the sister of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.—opposed the revived push for Charter change.

Last week, Senator Robin Padilla filed a resolution seeking to expand the terms of several government officials, including the president and vice president.

This is the second time that Padilla pushed for Charter change in the Senate. He is the chairman of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, being a stalwart of PDP-Laban, whose main advocacy is to push for a federal form of government, said he is supportive of amending the political provisions of the Constitution but not the economic provisions.

Last week, President Marcos said the study on amending the 1987 Constitution should focus on how to attract more investors into the country.

The President made the remark amid the moves in the House of Representatives to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Romualdez recently said that they will “focus” their attention on proposals regarding restrictions in the entry of foreign capital and investments including Charter change.

He said Congress would “champion the cause of revisiting our present Constitution, a cause that is the key to unlocking the vast potential of the Philippine economy.”—AOL, GMA Integrated News

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