MANILA, Philippines: Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has reiterated his full support for the Resolution of Both Houses 6 (RBH 6), which aims to amend certain economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. In a letter addressed to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, dated January 25, 2024, Romualdez expressed his commitment to collaborate with the Senate in the filing and eventual passage of the resolution.
Romualdez began his letter by referencing his opening statement at the House of Representatives plenary, where he welcomed the filing of RBH 6. He emphasized the importance of the Senate’s approval and the House’s commitment to adopting the measure concerning the amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution. Romualdez highlighted the historic significance of this juncture, emphasizing the need for cooperation and collective resolve.
However, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva has stated that many senators are no longer interested in pushing for the joint resolution. In a manifesto, several senators expressed their respect for the people as the sovereign and warned against any “underhanded” attempt to amend the 1987 Constitution through a people’s initiative. They firmly rejected what they perceived as a brazen violation of the Constitution.
The Philippine Constitution can be amended through three methods: a constituent assembly, a constitutional convention, or a people’s initiative. Zubiri, along with Senators Loren Legarda and Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, filed RBH 6, which proposes amendments to Articles XII (Section 11), XIV (paragraph 2, Section 4), and XVI (paragraph 2, Section 11) of the 1987 Constitution. These proposed amendments require a separate House and Senate vote of three-fourths of their respective members.
Romualdez, while expressing respect for senators’ freedom of expression, stated that he is ready to work with the Senate hand-in-hand. He acknowledged their differing opinions but emphasized his commitment to embracing the Resolution of Both Houses. Romualdez’s stance reflects his willingness to collaborate and find common ground with the Senate in the pursuit of constitutional amendments.
In response to discussions surrounding the People’s Initiative, Romualdez clarified the House of Representatives’ position. He reiterated the House’s commitment to this essential democratic process, which allows citizens to propose constitutional amendments. However, Romualdez made it clear that the House does not endorse or sanction direct participation by its members in signature gathering. The House’s role is to facilitate and encourage democratic participation without directly involving lawmakers in the signature collection process. This approach ensures the integrity and independence of the process.
Romualdez emphasized the House’s dedication to processing proposals in accordance with legal and constitutional guidelines. He stressed the importance of maintaining the integrity of the Constitution in subsequent legislative actions. The House is committed to providing a transparent and accountable framework to support the People’s Initiative, upholding the principles of democracy and the rule of law.
In conclusion, Speaker Romualdez’s letter to Senate President Zubiri demonstrates his unwavering support for the amendment of economic provisions in the Philippine Constitution. Despite differing opinions among senators and discussions surrounding the People’s Initiative, Romualdez remains committed to collaborating with the Senate and upholding the integrity of the constitutional amendment process. The pursuit of these amendments reflects a historic juncture in Philippine politics, where cooperation and collective resolve are of paramount importance.
Source: The Manila Times