House Approves RBH 7 to Amend Economic Provisions of the Constitution

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The House Committee of the Whole made a significant move on Wednesday by approving Resolution of Both Houses 7 (RBH 7), which aims to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. This decision follows extensive deliberations that began on March 4. Mandaluyong Representative Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales 2nd, the committee’s majority head, motioned for the approval of RBH 7, marking a crucial step forward in the process. House Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe declared that the motion was carried, solidifying the committee’s decision.

The House Committee of the Whole also adopted the committee report on the resolution, highlighting the comprehensive nature of this endeavor. However, it is important to note that RBH 7 faced opposition from several representatives, including Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr., Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel, Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas, and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro. These representatives expressed their concerns and reservations regarding the approval of RBH 7.

Both the Senate RBH 6 and the House of Representatives RBH 7 targeted specific sections of the Constitution, namely Article 12 (Section 11), Article 14 (paragraph 2 of Section 4), and Article 16 (paragraph 2 of Section 11). The proposed amendments in both versions aimed to add the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” to these provisions. This addition would grant more flexibility in interpreting and implementing these economic provisions.

Gonzales expressed optimism that RBH 7 would be approved on second reading by the following Wednesday. The next step in the process would be a vote for the measure at the plenary level. The House has a two-week window before it goes on a Holy Week break, providing ample time for further discussions and considerations.

In support of RBH 7, former Finance Secretary Margarito Teves emphasized that removing the restrictive provisions in the Constitution would enable the Philippines to adapt swiftly to changing international and domestic economic conditions. This move towards economic flexibility could potentially benefit the country in the long run. Additionally, former senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan 2nd, who participated as a resource person in the House deliberations, also expressed his support for RBH 7.

According to the 1987 Constitution, any amendment or revision must be proposed by Congress with a three-fourths vote of all its members or through a constitutional convention. Additionally, the Constitution allows for direct proposals of amendments through initiative, provided that a petition is signed by at least 12 percent of the total number of registered voters, with each legislative district represented by at least 3 percent of the registered voters therein.

The approval of RBH 7 by the House Committee of the Whole signifies a significant step towards potential amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. As the process continues, it will be crucial to monitor further discussions and developments to gauge the impact these changes may have on the country’s economic landscape.

Source: The Manila Times

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