House to start cha-cha debates next week

The House of Representatives will start debates on a resolution proposing changes to the 1987 Constitution on Jan. 13, a congressman said on Friday.

Party-list Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr., who heads the House committee on constitutional amendments, said the panel would tackle the resolution filed by Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco last year.

The lawmaker said the resolution only proposes changes to economic provisions of the charter.

“Permission is being sought from the Filipino people to entrust to Congress the enactment of exceptions to the general rules stated in particular economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution,” Mr. Garbin said in a statement.

The 33-year old Constitution bars foreign investors from owning more than 40% of certain industries.

He said the coronavirus pandemic had made the matter of easing economic provisions of the Constitution urgent, as domestic markets struggled to boost the economy during the lockdown.

The committee seeks to finish deliberations before year-end, in time for a plebiscite coinciding with the 2022 national elections, Mr. Garbin said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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