House committee okays cha-cha
Rep. Mercedes Alvarez (Neg. Occ., 6th District), a co-author of the bill seeking an amendment to the economic provision of the 1987 Constitution, said it was approved by the Committee on Constitutional Amendments of the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon.
The principal author of the bill is House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
Voting 24-2-1, the Committee on Constitutional Amendments approved Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 aiming to insert “unless otherwise provided by law” in the economic provision of the Constitution.
Davao City Rep. Mylene Garcia-Albano, who chairs the committee, said the approved resolution will be forwarded to the plenary for second reading.
Those who voted against the resolution were Bayan Muna party-list Reps. Carlos Isagani Zarate and Neri Colmenares, while Pampanga Rep. Oscar Rodriguez, abstained from the voting.
The resolution aims to amend economic provisions on the 60-40 rule that limits foreign ownership of certain activities in the Philippines.
The resolution will include the phrase “unless provided by law” in the foreign-ownership provision of the Constitution, particularly land ownership, public utilities, natural resources, media and advertising industries.
Under Article XII of the Constitution, foreign investors are prohibited to own more than 40 percent of real properties and businesses, while they are totally restricted to exploit natural resources and own any company in the media industry.
The amendments to the Charter will be approved through separate votings by the both Chambers -- the Senate and the House of Representatives -- with a three-fourth votes required from them.
The Cha-cha debate will start after Congress resumes session on May 5 as they are prepared to go on Lenten recess on March 15.
Belmonte and Alvarez said the amendments are purely for the economic provisions.
Belmonte stressed that he will not allow any member to insert any provision other than what is specified in his resolution.
He expressed confidence that his proposal will get the vote of the majority in the Lower Chamber.- CARLA GOMEZ - Visayan Daily Star /*CPG/PNA