House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez delivers his welcome message on Thursday (November 23, 2023) at the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Pasay City. (Photo from the Mayor’s office)

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has promised to do everything in terms of opening the economy to investment and allowing the Filipino people to benefit from it.

In his speech on Wednesday – the last day of the 2023 sessions – Romualdez reiterated that the Chamber will focus its attention in 2024 on finding ways to deal with the economic restrictions of the 1987 Constitution, which make it difficult for foreign investment to enter the country.

“Next year, after the Christmas holidays, we will focus our attention on studying and reviewing proposals that address restrictions blocking the entry of foreign capital and investment into the Philippines. These include deliberation on all proposed measures relating to constitutional change,” he told the House.

“This congress will champion the cause of revising our current constitution. A cause that is fundamental to unlocking the vast potential of our Philippine economy. We will do everything to open our economy to investment. We will study all the ways in which the common man will benefit from the constitutional amendment [We’ll do everything to open the economy to investments. We’ll study every possible way on how ordinary people will benefit from amending the Constitution],” he added.

According to Romualdez, the Chamber can discuss such proposals because the Chamber has already disposed of its responsibilities – having approved important legislation from the Legislative-Executive Development Consultative Council (Ledac) and the projects mentioned by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of Discurso de Nação (Sona ) in July 2023.

Furthermore, Romualdez noted that the House and Senate have already ratified the proposed national budget for 2024, which is pending for the President's signature.

“This august body recognizes the urgency and importance of addressing the most pressing issues facing our nation. And I'm proud to say that everyone did their part in actively participating in legislative discussions, building consensus and advocating for the approval of crucial measures. and act in accordance with the concerns of our people,” he said.

“I attribute the high level of legislative performance to the unity in aspirations and selfless cooperation of each member of the House of Representatives. Despite our differences in opinions and beliefs, we worked together to champion the cause of good governance in fulfilling our common duty to serve the highest interests of the Filipino people,” he added.

READ: Romualdez mulls revisiting Cha-cha for changes to economic provisions

On Tuesday, Romualdez and Senior Vice President Aurelio Gonzales Jr. expressed hope that charter change proposals to open the economy would be considered in 2024.

READ: Chamber renews pressure for economic change

However, proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution with regard to economic provisions are not new. On February 11, Romualdez himself said that changing the Constitution – particularly the provisions that block foreign investment and economic property – would be the last piece of the puzzle for economic growth. .

TO READ: Amending the Constitution is the last piece of the puzzle for economic growth – Romualdez

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Romualdez said this during President Marcos' trip to Japan last February, stating that the issue of banning most foreign investments from entering the country always came up during trade negotiations abroad.