DILG/IATF-CORE says House, Senate should vote separately on Economic CORE issue

January 27, 2021

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Constitutional Reform (IATF-CORE) on Wednesday said Congress should vote separately on the proposed amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution because of its bicameral nature.

“The bicameral nature of Congress makes separate voting logical, prudent, and reasonable,” said DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya. The DILG chairs the IATF-CORE.

Malaya said that IATF-CORE agreed with the position of House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, that both Houses of Congress should indeed vote separately.

He said both Houses have separate membership, leadership, and rules so voting separately is ideal and doable.

Malaya also said that a legislative action through a constituent assembly of both houses would be the most expeditious manner of changing the constitution.

In practice, he says, Constitutional Conventions are not meant for amendments but are convened by Congress to draft an entirely new charter, on the assumption that the existing charter must be changed wholesale.

“Therefore, a constituent assembly would be the preferred, ideal, and proper mode to lift the restrictive economic provisions of the charter,” Malaya stressed.

Malaya earlier said that ongoing public hearings on constitutional reforms in both houses of Congress are sending a strong signal that the Philippines is undertaking the necessary economic reforms to make the country more attractive to foreign investment.

“The lifting of the restrictive economic provisions would allow us to have an adaptable economic policy regime at this crucial period in our nation’s history rather than being tied down to a fixed set of policies,” he said.

Malaya further said that for the country to fully recover from the COVID19 pandemic, the government must open up the economy to achieve a truly inclusive investments-led economic growth that will create more jobs for the people.

Senators Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa and Francis Tolentino have sponsored a resolution calling for Congress to convene into a Constituent Assembly to change provisions on democratic representation and the economic provisions of the Constitution.