MANILA – Malacañang said yesterday that President Aquino will lift the economic provisions of the Constitution despite of the appeal made by local business groups and foreign chambers of commerce.
“The economic provisions for the Constitution is not in the legislative priority list. As I recall, the President has not been asked about the provisions since he attended the Japan National Press Club last June, and maintained his position on this issue,” said Herminio Coloma Jr., Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary.
Coloma said that in June, Aquino told the media that the joint resolution on economic provisions was being worked on by the Senate and the House of Representatives, but he had yet to study and see if he could the Congress in their proposal.
Various business groups released a statement that its now time for the country to make amendments in the economic provisions of the Constitution to encourage more foreign investors to get into the bilateral and regional trade agreements.
In a report by The Philippine Star, the Congress called for the early approval of Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 (RBH 1) principally authored by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. seeking to include the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in some sections of Articles 12 (national economy and patrimony), 14 (education, science and technology, arts, culture and sports) and 16 (general provisions).
The resolution appealed in the Congress has been approved and its now on second reading with the third reading vote which requires an approval of three-fourths of the members of the House.
The Philippine Star also stated that the business community said RBH 1 was the first serious effort to undertake the often-recommended reform to replace the constitutional restrictions on foreign equity with specific laws.
“Almost all countries in the world has no restrictions on foreign investment. Countries who impose restrictions on foreign investment can do so by applying administrative orders through legislation to shift it into national priorities,” said by the business groups.