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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Senate urges House to adopt RBH6’s separate vote provision

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Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri urged members of the House of Representatives to adopt the Upper Chamber’s version of a resolution providing for separate voting as a means to amend restrictive economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

He said adopting the Senate’s Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 will avoid chaos and confusion.

RBH No. 6, filed by Zubiri, Senator Sonny Angara and Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, seeks to amend three restrictive economic provisions with the House and the Senate voting separately.

“Once [the Senate has] finished [deliberations], it is better to justadopt so that there is no chaos, no fight, it is not questionable and no uncertainty,” Zubiri said.

RBH No. 7, filed by the House, is almost an exact reproduction of RBH No. 6 but it requires all members of Congress to vote jointly on proposed economic Charter amendments.

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The proposed House and Senate changes are on the grant of legislative franchises to and ownership of public utilities in Article XII, and ownership of basic educational facilities in Article XIV and advertising firms in Article XVI.

Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and Deputy Majority Leader and Tingog party-list Rep. Jude Acidre earlier cautioned the Senate against insisting on a separate vote.

“Our basic law does not say whether the House of Representatives andthe Senate have to vote jointly or separately on Charter change,” Gonzales said.

“Voting separately – that provision is being added by the Senate toour Constitution. For us in the House of Representatives, we stand with what’s written in the Constitution,” Acidre said.

House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe said the Lower Chamber will deliberate next week on its resolution.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada, however, said that while he respects theopinion of House leaders, he believes “they are mistaken in their interpretation of the Constitution.”

“I hope my colleagues [in the House] will engage in a constructive and respectful dialogue and respect the Senate’s constitutional mandate and prerogative instead of dismissing them,” Estrada said.

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