Senior Vice President of the Chamber, Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (file photo from the Chamber of Deputies Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines – Political bloc leaders in the House of Representatives are “all receptive” to easing the “most prohibitive” economic provisions of the Constitution to attract more foreign direct investment.

That was the common assertion, House Senior Vice President Aurelio Gonzales Jr. told reporters in an interview Wednesday, after lower chamber party leaders met Wednesday to “brainstorm.” on changing the statute, following President Martin Romualdez's statement that he would like to revisit it in 2024.

“We, party leaders, met earlier today. The feeling in the House is that all party leaders are receptive to revising the Constitution,” said Gonzales, a representative from Pampanga.

He added that the leaders of the different political parties agreed that the economic provisions needed to be reviewed thoroughly.

“We brainstormed on this topic previously. But it is clear that a popular initiative will not come from us, but from the people”, said Gonzales.

He also deflected Senator Imee Marcos' remarks that proponents of Charter change were “very persistent” and that some politicians may aspire to be prime ministers.

Gonzales emphasized that there was nothing in the House's proposals for a charter change that would push for a change in the form of government.

“My proposal, for example, is very clear. These are just term limits, and others are related to economic provisions. Senators will not be affected, they will still have six years. We are keeping a closer eye on economic provisions,” he said.

Gonzales made the remarks after Romualdez reiterated his push for status change, particularly the easing of economic restrictions that he said were the “most prohibitive” in the region.

On Tuesday, he said the lower house wanted to make the Constitution “more in tune, sensitive and responsive” to the times.

Romualdez said lawmakers would study changing the statute and the procedure for amending the Constitution during the Congress break from Dec. 16 to Jan. 21.


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Gonzales said the House intends to complete deliberations on the charter change before the State of the Nation Address in July next year.



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