The House Committee on Constitutional Reforms will be busy when regular session resumes in January, with the current leadership of the House of Representatives eyeing amendments to “restrictive economic provisions” of the 1987 Constitution.


Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin who was elected Wednesday to head the committee said he expects a busy year as the panel will have its hands full conducting hearings and deliberation on 13 pending Charter change proposals.

Garbin gave up his membership in the House of Representative Electoral Tribunal to become chairman of the committee. He replaced as chairman Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, now a deputy speaker.

 “Restrictive economic provisions are what we are eyeing (to take up) due to the fact that the same no longer conform to the needs of time,” said Garbin in a text message.

“In order to realize the benefits of full inclusive growth the said restrictive economic provisions must be lifted that hamper the flow of foreign capital investment,” he added.

Three of the pending resolutions, including one proposed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, seek amendments to economic provisions of the constitution.

“Statistics shows that despite economic growth poverty remains constant thus the need to address the issue. But most importantly, we should develop public trust in the process of amending the Constitution,” said Garbin.

Velasco filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 proposing to amend Articles II, XIV and XVI which covers provisions that deal with the economy.

The House leader underscored the need to amend said provisions “in order to fully transform” economic growth into “inclusive and solidary progress among Filipinos.”

Velasco and Rodriguez filed separate resolutions proposing to insert the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in articles addressing the national patrimony and economy.

It will be recalled that former Speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. had sought the same tact in pushing for Charter amendments during his term as House leader.

Deputy Speaker and Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry Oaminal filed the third legislative proposal seeking to “remove restrictive economic” provisions in the Charter.

“The present political and economic developments necessitate amendments to the Constitution in order to make it more responsive to the requirement of the current time,” said Oaminal.

He noted that there had been widespread calls, especially from economic managers and investors to remove the 60-40% equity limitation of foreign investments in the country, saying that the move will ensure “a more conducive and favorable business climate int he country.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (