Voters, not Surveys, will Decide Cha-Cha

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Garbin argued that while the survey results are important, they should not be the sole basis for deciding the fate of charter change. He stressed that it is crucial to allow citizens to actively participate in the decision-making process through public consultations and the plebiscite. By doing so, the government can ensure that the voices of the people are heard and that their opinions are taken into account.
The survey conducted by Pulse Asia, which showed that a majority of respondents were against amending the constitution, does not necessarily reflect the sentiments of the entire population. Garbin pointed out that the survey sample may not be representative of the diverse views and perspectives of the Filipino people. Therefore, it is vital to give citizens the opportunity to express their opinions directly through their votes.
Garbin also highlighted the importance of RBH 7 in addressing economic provisions that restrict foreign ownership. He argued that these provisions hinder economic growth and development by limiting foreign investments in key sectors such as education, telecommunications, and media. By amending these provisions, the government aims to attract more foreign investments and promote economic progress.
However, Garbin acknowledged that there are valid concerns and reservations regarding charter change. He emphasized the need for thorough discussions and debates to address these concerns and ensure that any proposed changes to the constitution are in the best interest of the Filipino people. Public consultations would provide a platform for these discussions, allowing experts, stakeholders, and ordinary citizens to voice their opinions, raise questions, and propose alternative solutions.
In conclusion, Garbin’s call for voter decision on charter change is rooted in the belief that the fate of the constitution should be determined by the people themselves. By allowing citizens to participate in public consultations and express their opinions through the plebiscite, the government can ensure a more inclusive and democratic decision-making process. This approach not only upholds the principles of transparency and accountability but also gives citizens a sense of ownership and empowerment in shaping the future of their country.

Ensuring Responsible Decision-Making

Garbin, a former lawmaker, stressed the need for an information program on the importance of charter change. He argued that passing on the “economic problem” to future administrations would be irresponsible. Garbin emphasized that voters elected members of Congress to work on the details of laws and provisions, including the proper opening of ownership in public utilities, education sectors, and media.

Senate Majority Leader Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, who opposes the proposed economic provisions, pointed out that the overwhelming opposition expressed in the Pulse Asia survey provides no compelling reason to expedite the process of amending the constitution. Villanueva stated that the survey results clearly indicate that the people do not prioritize charter change at this time.

The survey showed that 14 percent of respondents believed that while the constitution could not be amended currently, it could potentially be amended in the future. Just over half of the respondents believed that the charter could be amended during the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., while 8 percent believed it could be done in the next administration.

Villanueva mentioned that he was leaning towards voting against RBH 6, but expressed his willingness to continue learning and studying the economic provisions as public hearings progress.

However, despite the opposition and differing opinions, it is crucial to ensure responsible decision-making when it comes to charter change. The process of amending the constitution should not be rushed or taken lightly. It requires careful consideration, thorough analysis, and extensive public consultations.

One of the primary concerns raised by those opposing the proposed economic provisions is the potential impact on the country’s economic stability and sovereignty. Opening up ownership in public utilities, education sectors, and media can have far-reaching consequences that need to be thoroughly evaluated before making any changes.

Additionally, it is essential to take into account the sentiments of the people, as reflected in the Pulse Asia survey. While there may be a desire for charter change in the future, the majority of respondents do not see it as a priority at the moment. This indicates the need for further discussions and education on the matter to ensure that any amendments to the constitution truly reflect the will and best interests of the Filipino people.

Therefore, it is crucial for lawmakers like Garbin and Villanueva to engage in open dialogue, actively listen to the concerns of their constituents, and conduct comprehensive studies to assess the potential consequences of charter change. This approach will enable a more informed and responsible decision-making process, ensuring that any amendments made to the constitution serve the long-term welfare of the nation.

Despite the challenges faced by opposition Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros in garnering enough votes to block the charter change proposal, she remains determined to rally support in the Senate. Recognizing the daunting task of securing at least seven votes, Hontiveros emphasizes the need for three-fourths of the Senate, or 18 votes, to approve Resolution of Both Houses 6.

While the odds may seem stacked against those opposing the proposed amendments, Hontiveros draws hope from her observations of her colleagues in the majority. She believes that there are senators who, despite being part of the majority, do not fully support RBH 6. She points to their body language as an indication of their reservations.

Joining Hontiveros in her opposition to amending the economic provisions of the constitution is Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. Together, they stand firm in their belief that tampering with these provisions could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s economic stability.

Furthermore, Senators Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos and Cynthia Villar have publicly declared their intention to reject the proposed amendments. Their voices add weight to the opposition’s stance, highlighting the growing dissent within the Senate.

As the debate over charter change rages on, it becomes increasingly evident that the decision ultimately lies in the hands of the Filipino voters. Public consultations and the plebiscite serve as vital avenues for citizens to express their views and actively participate in shaping the future of the constitution. It is through these democratic processes that the true power of the people can be harnessed, ensuring that any changes made to the constitution reflect the collective will of the nation.

Source: The Manila Times

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