Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri has assured the House leadership he will “keep an open mind” on efforts to amend the Constitution to bring about economic reforms.
“Senate President Migz personally assured me that he will keep an open mind on the move by the House of Representatives to institute economic reforms through constitutional amendments,” said House Speaker Martin Romualdez after his phone conversation with Zubiri.
“He informed me that the Senate is waiting for the report of their Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes chaired by Sen. Robinhood Padilla, for appropriate plenary action,” Romualdez added.
Romualdez, however, said he was informed by Zubiri that his colleagues are contemplating on re-scheduling the Senate committee hearing scheduled today.
“I trust that other senators will continue to join Senate President Migz in keeping their mind open on amending restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution,” he said.
Padilla’s committee held its third and final public hearing on Charter change in Cebu last week, after holding similar dialogues in Baguio City and Davao City.
Despite lack of support for constitutional amendments among his colleagues, Padilla said he will continue to advocate the amendment of seven provisions of the 1987 Constitution which he believes will spur economic development.
Rep. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro, who chairs the House constitutional amendments committee, earlier assured the public that only restrictive economic provisions will be amended.
“In the bill, we are giving the constitutional convention seven months to finish its job. The deadline is the best proof that we want this effort to be limited to the economic provisions. Rewriting the other parts of the Charter would entail a longer, perhaps an open-ended period,” he said.
Under HB 7352, convention delegates would receive no salary but would be entitled to a P10,000 allowance for every day of attendance in the assembly or any of its committees.
Earlier, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Charter change is not a priority for his administration.
“It is not a priority for me because there are so many other things that we need to do first, that we can still do, we can achieve, but within the present constitution, the way the constitution is written,” Mr. Marcos said in an interview in February.