House to Vote on RBH 7: Amending Economic Provisions of the Constitution

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RBH 7, also known as the Economic Amendments Resolution, has been a topic of intense debate among lawmakers and economists alike. The resolution seeks to relax certain economic provisions in the constitution, with the goal of attracting more foreign investments and stimulating economic growth in the country.

Proponents of RBH 7 argue that the current economic provisions, which restrict foreign ownership in certain industries, hinder foreign direct investment and limit the country’s economic potential. They believe that by amending these provisions, the Philippines can become more competitive in the global market and create more job opportunities for its citizens.

On the other hand, critics of the resolution express concerns about the potential negative consequences of opening up the economy to foreign investors. They argue that allowing unrestricted foreign ownership may lead to the exploitation of the country’s resources and the displacement of local businesses. They also raise questions about the impact on national security and the ability of the government to regulate and protect the interests of its citizens.

The upcoming vote on RBH 7 is expected to be a crucial moment for the House of Representatives and the country as a whole. Lawmakers will have to carefully consider the potential benefits and risks associated with amending the economic provisions of the constitution. This decision will not only shape the future of the Philippine economy but also have far-reaching implications for various sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and services.

In preparation for the vote, Deputy Speaker David Suarez emphasized the importance of the roll call of lawmakers during the nominal voting process. This method ensures transparency and accountability, as each lawmaker’s vote will be recorded and made public. The roll call will also allow constituents to know where their representatives stand on the issue and hold them accountable for their decisions.

As the date of the vote approaches, both supporters and opponents of RBH 7 are intensifying their efforts to sway public opinion and gather support from their colleagues. Lobbying groups, business associations, and civil society organizations are actively engaging in debates, forums, and public consultations to express their views and concerns regarding the resolution.

Ultimately, the decision on RBH 7 rests in the hands of the House of Representatives. The outcome of the vote will shape the economic landscape of the Philippines for years to come and will undoubtedly be closely watched by both domestic and international stakeholders.

Once the proposed amendment has been approved by the Congress, it is then submitted to the people for ratification. The process of ratification can be done through a plebiscite, which is a direct vote by the people to either accept or reject the proposed amendment. The plebiscite is usually conducted nationwide to ensure that the decision of the people is representative of the entire country.

In order for the amendment to be ratified, it must be approved by a majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite. This means that more than half of the voters must vote in favor of the amendment for it to be considered ratified. The results of the plebiscite are then certified by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to ensure the integrity of the process.

Once the amendment has been ratified, it becomes part of the constitution and is legally binding. It has the same force and effect as any other provision of the constitution and can only be changed through the same process of amendment. This ensures that any changes to the constitution are made with the consent of the people and are not easily subject to the whims of the government or any particular political party.

The process of amending the constitution is a crucial aspect of any democratic society. It allows for the evolution of the constitution to reflect the changing needs and values of the people. However, it is also a process that requires careful consideration and deliberation to ensure that any amendments made are in line with the principles and ideals of the constitution.

Amending the constitution is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It requires a thorough understanding of the implications and consequences of the proposed amendment. It also requires a broad consensus among the people to ensure that the amendment truly represents the will of the majority.

Overall, the process of amending the constitution is a complex and important process that should be undertaken with the utmost care and consideration. It is a reflection of the democratic principles upon which our society is built and should be treated as such.

Differing Opinions on the Method of Amendment

Opinions within the House of Representatives are split over the method of amending the constitution. Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales 2nd, who served as the majority leader of the House Committee of the Whole that approved RBH 7 at the committee level, believes that both chambers should vote separately. Once approved by three-fourths of the members separately, the resolution would then go to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), which would schedule a plebiscite. In this scenario, there would be no need for a joint assembly.

On the other hand, Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman argues that the constitution only provides for three modes of amending the constitution: constituent assembly, constitutional convention, and people’s initiative. Lagman believes that a joint assembly of representatives and senators is necessary for proposing amendments to the constitution, and only a constituent assembly can do so. He points out that the constitution does not mention a joint assembly.

During the deliberations on RBH 7 at the committee level, former Associate Justice Antonio Carpio expressed his view that the 1987 constitution allows the House and the Senate to separately meet and vote for proposed amendments. Carpio emphasizes that the constitution uses the term “Congress” and not “constituent assembly” when referring to the power to propose amendments or revisions. He argues that unless otherwise expressly provided by the constitution, each chamber must separately approve an act before it can be considered an act of Congress.

While there are differing opinions within the House of Representatives, it is crucial to consider the implications of each method of amendment. Gonzales’ proposal for separate voting by both chambers may expedite the process, as it avoids the need for a joint assembly. This would allow each chamber to deliberate and vote on the proposed amendments independently, ensuring that the voices of both the House and the Senate are heard.

On the other hand, Lagman’s argument for a joint assembly highlights the importance of collaboration and consensus-building between representatives and senators. By convening a joint assembly, both chambers can come together to discuss and deliberate on the proposed amendments, fostering a sense of unity and shared responsibility in the constitutional amendment process.

Carpio’s viewpoint adds another layer to the debate, emphasizing the need to interpret the constitution accurately. His argument that the term “Congress” should be understood as separate chambers rather than a constituent assembly raises questions about the intent of the framers of the constitution. It invites a closer examination of the constitutional provisions and the historical context in which they were written.

As the discussions on the method of amendment continue, it is essential for lawmakers to carefully consider the implications of each approach. The constitution serves as the foundation of the nation’s governance, and any amendments made should be done with utmost care and consideration. Ultimately, the decision on the method of amendment will shape the future of the nation and its democratic processes.

The Provisions Covered by RBH 7

RBH 7, along with RBH 6 filed at the Senate, focuses on amending specific provisions of the constitution. These provisions include Article XII (Section 11), Article XIV (Paragraph 2 of Section 4), and Article XVI (Paragraph 2 of Section 11). The proposed amendments seek to add the words “unless otherwise provided by law” to these provisions. Additionally, they aim to include the word “basic” before the words “educational institutions” in the first sentence of Paragraph 2, Section 4 of Article XIV.

Deputy Speaker David Suarez expressed his optimism about the approval of RBH 7 on third and final reading in the House of Representatives. He also hopes that the Senate will find enough time to approve the same resolution. As lawmakers prepare for the holy week break, Suarez looks forward to the leaders of both chambers meeting to decide on the proper course of action regarding the resolutions.

The Senate has already started deliberations on RBH 6 earlier this year, indicating that both chambers are actively engaging in the process of amending the constitution.

RBH 7, in its aim to amend Article XII (Section 11), seeks to clarify the provision regarding the ownership and utilization of lands, natural resources, and public utilities. By adding the words “unless otherwise provided by law,” the resolution aims to provide flexibility in the implementation of this provision. This amendment recognizes the need for future legislation to adapt to changing circumstances and allows for the possibility of exceptions or special provisions to be made.

In amending Article XIV (Paragraph 2 of Section 4), RBH 7 aims to emphasize the importance of basic educational institutions in the country. By including the word “basic” before the words “educational institutions,” the resolution highlights the fundamental role these institutions play in providing quality education to all Filipinos. This amendment serves as a reminder of the government’s commitment to prioritize and support basic education as a cornerstone of national development.

Furthermore, RBH 7 also addresses Article XVI (Paragraph 2 of Section 11), which pertains to the ownership and management of mass media in the Philippines. The proposed amendment seeks to provide clarity and flexibility in this provision by adding the words “unless otherwise provided by law.” This change recognizes the dynamic nature of the media landscape and the need for future legislation to adapt to advancements in technology and changing media practices.

Overall, RBH 7 aims to bring about necessary amendments to the constitution that will promote flexibility, clarity, and the prioritization of basic education and the responsible management of lands, natural resources, and public utilities. As the House of Representatives and the Senate engage in deliberations on these resolutions, it is evident that both chambers are actively participating in the crucial process of shaping the future of the country through constitutional amendments.

Source: The Manila Times

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