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No automatic lifting of restrictive economic provisions, says legislator

By:  – Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
 / 04:45 AM January 25, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s proposed amendments to the Constitution would not automatically lift its restrictive economic provisions since the House of Representatives would still need to “enact legislation that [would] be more responsive to economic conditions and realities.”

Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., House constitutional committee chair, stressed this on Sunday as he reiterated that the proposed amendments under Velasco’s Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 2 would be limited to economic provisions.

“The next Congress will have leeway and flexibility to enact legislation that conform to the present economic conditions. At least we won’t be tied anymore,” Garbin said in a statement, adding that the Philippines has one of the most restrictive economic provisions in the world.

Under RBH 2, Velasco called for the amendment of Articles 12, 14 and 16—provisions that prevent foreign ownership of land and businesses in the country.

He also sought the easing of restrictions on ownership and management of mass media, public utilities, educational institutions, investments and capital for foreign investors.

The phrase, “unless otherwise provided by law,” would be inserted in the constitutional restrictions under his proposal.

Garbin said the ultimate decision on the proposed amendments would be made by Filipinos who would vote in a plebiscite that could be held simultaneously with the 2022 national elections.

He said the easing of economic restrictions would address the lack of jobs in the country. INQ