Senate to hold hearing on resolution calling for charter change via con-con

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — The Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision will conduct a hearing on Monday next week on the Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, which calls for a constitutional convention in pursuit of charter change.

House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairperson Rufus Rodriguez confirmed that his Senate counterpart Senator Robinhood Padilla had invited him to attend the hearing at the upper chamber.

"I will attend it. I will explain to senators and the public that our intention in our charter change initiative, as repeatedly stated by Speaker Martin Romualdez, is to rewrite the economic provisions so the country could attract more foreign investments,” said Rodriguez in a statement on Wednesday.

"That is our only objective. We do not want the other parts of the Constitution to be touched,” he added.

The lower chamber on Tuesday approved on final reading House Bill No. 7352, which will implement the constitutional convention.

Under the bill, over 300 delegates to the convention will include representatives from the academe, legal profession, economy, medical profession, science and technology profession, business, labor, urban poor, farmers and fisherfolk, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, veterans, and senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

Meanwhile, 20% of the total number of delegates will be chosen jointly by Romualdez and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri from identified sectors.

The delegates’ terms will be seven months from Dec. 1, 2023 until June 30, 2024.

"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,” said Rodriguez. "Rewriting the other parts of the charter would entail a longer, perhaps an open-ended period.”

The bill also proposes an allowance of ₱10,000 for each day a delegate attends the convention. Separate provisions would be given for transportation and lodging.