Solon: Cha-cha within the year

The House of Representatives and the Senate can finish consideration of the proposed economic Charter changes or amendments this year, a House official said on Thursday.

“Since we will have a break next week on March 25, the deliberations will be continued when we resume sessions on May 17. Speaker Lord Allan Velasco is affording the opportunity to all Members to participate in the deliberations,” Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said.

The resolution containing the proposals would then be transmitted to the Senate.

The former constitutional amendments committee chairman and law dean said the Senate would then have enough time to consider economic Cha-cha once it was sent to it.

The proposed amendments are contained in Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 2 authored by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

The resolution seeks to empower Congress to change constitutional limitations on foreign participation in certain sectors of the economy like telecommunications, public utilities, media, advertising and education, except land which will continue to be only for Filipinos.

“The changing of those restrictions will hasten the country’s recovery from this crippling pandemic. It will help attract more foreign investments and provide more employment to our people which are really the objectives of Speaker Velasco’s RBH-2,” Rodriguez said.

He said several senators had expressed support for the “lofty goal” of the Speaker’s resolution.

“That is why I am confident that the Senate will tackle our amendment proposals once transmitted to them and will eventually consider approving them,” he said.

Rodriguez reiterated the Speaker’s assurances that the House would propose only economic amendments.

“In fact, our plenary discussions for the past 3 weeks now have been limited to RBH-2. No one among the 300 members of the House has suggested any political amendment,” he said.

He also reiterated that the House and the Senate would vote separately and not jointly on economic Cha-cha proposals.

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