Contact Details

Rm. N-411, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
+63 2 931 5497, +63 2 931 5001 local 7370

After six days of differing inputs from enthusiastic, even sometimes combative, resource persons, and extensive interpellations on the pros and cons regarding Resolution of Both Houses No. 7, alas a pro forma Committee Report of five pages condensing the lengthy process without any discussion at all of the various presentations and position papers was approved by the Committee of the Whole.

Resolution of Both Houses No. 7 is flawed both procedurally and substantially.

Procedurally because it does not follow any of the three modes of amending the Constitution under Article XVII. It is not even a Constituent Assembly in its traditional concept because under the traditional concept of a Constituent Assembly wherein Representatives and Senators assemble jointly, not as legislators enacting laws, but as constituent members of a unicameral Constituent Assembly to introduce amendments to the Constitution.

Resolution of Both Houses No. 7 virtually provides for a fourth mode of amending the Constitution by ordinary legislation without amending Article XVII of the Constitution on amendment and revision of the Constitution and without amending Section 19 of Article II of developing a national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos.

The phrase “as may be otherwise provided for by law” makes any amendment to the nationalistic provisions of the Constitution nebulous as it does not specify the metes and bounds of the contingent legislation, thus putting prospective foreign investors in the dark. More than flexibility, investors want certainty.

Substantially, Resolution of Both Houses No. 7 is infirm because:

  • The reduction or removal of the nationalistic provisions of the Constitution is not necessary since the conducive economic environment for foreign direct investments (FDIs) has yet to be put in place by addressing the problems of ease of doing business, rampant official corruption, unpredictability of government policies, slow internet speed, and high power cost.
  • Experience would show that even as manufacturing is open to foreign investors to the extent of 100%, FDI in the manufacturing sector has not been realized as expected as shown by the data of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
  • We have twice liberalized the retail trade industry but the anticipated influx of foreign investors has failed to materialize.
  • No empirical studies have been conducted in the Philippines to justify the positive forecast that the entry of foreign direct investments in the public utilities, educational institutions, and advertising industry will generate more jobs, enhance technology transfer, improve skills development, and produce cheaper goods and services for consumer protection and welfare.

For all of the foregoing, I vote no to Resolution of Both Houses No. 7.