Task Force on Cha-cha urges Senate to tackle amendment resolution before filing of COCs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 27) - An inter-agency task force pushing for constitutional reforms is urging the Senate to tackle before October a resolution of both houses of Congress that proposes economic amendments to the country's charter.

Resolution of Both Houses No. 2, also known as RBH2, proposes amendments to the economic provisions of the Philippine Constitution, particularly to lift current restrictions on foreign investors.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Federalism and Constitutional Reform led by the Interior Department is hoping the Senate can tackle the resolution before the October filing of certificates of candidacy for the 2022 elections.

"Itong pong third regular session alam naman po natin ay masikipang panahon dahil sa Oktubre po ay filing na ng mga Certificates of Candidacy,” Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Tuesday in an online press conference.

[Translation: We know that the third regular session is a hectic period since the filing of certificates of candidacy is in October.]

The inter-agency has submitted a resolution asking the Senate to immediately take up RBH2.

The House of Representatives last June passed the resolution on final reading, voting 251-20. It passed the ball to the Senate whether to adopt or reject the measure.

“Sana hindi masayang yung ating pinagumpisahan dito [Hopefully, what we started won't go to waste],” House Committee on Constitutional Amendments chair Alfredo Garbin Jr. said.

Senate President Tito Sotto, however, earlier said there was no need to rush charter change.

“As long as it’s addressing economic issues, we have enough time to tackle it, really. We should not be rushing it, we should discuss it well,” Sotto told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

He explained three key economic bills that seek amendments to the Foreign Investment Act, Public Service Act, and Retail Liberalization Act are expected to be enacted soon.

Sotto added these economic measures would essentially achieve the objectives of RBH2.

But Malaya said these proposed bills will only address short term issues.