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Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez

Speaker defends approval of Con-con measures 

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Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Wednesday said all legislative measures, including the two on the proposed constitutional convention (con-con), have been “deliberated extensively and exhaustively” from the committee level up to the plenary hall, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

Romualdez made the remarks after some lawmakers questioned the haste by which the House is pushing for Charter change.

He said the passage of Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 and its accompanying bill, House Bill (HB) 7352, calling for a hybrid con-con to propose amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution, was done with a clear mission to amend the Charter’s restrictive provisions to attract more foreign investments and create high-paying and quality jobs.


He said it is not a sin to work with urgency if it is for the good of the country.

“Yes, the 301 House members who co-authored the twin resolutions are in a rush to amend these restrictive provisions of the Constitution. Just as we, in the House of Representatives, are in a rush to approve priority measures agreed upon in the LEDAC (Legislative-Executive Development Advisory) meetings to give flesh to the 8-Point Socio-Economic Agenda of the national government,” he said in a statement.

RBH 6 was approved on final reading at the House on March 6 with a 301-6 vote while HB 7352 was passed on March 14 with a 301-7 vote.

He said the House has already approved 23 out of 31 other urgent measures as part of the chamber’s commitment to the LEDAC meetings.

“All voices were heard before we take a vote. Lahat ng ito, dumaan sa tamang proseso at masusing pag-aaral (All of these went through the right process and intensive scrutiny),” he said.

“Kung nagta-trabaho man kami ng mabilis, ito ay dahil interes ng mamamayan ang nakataya. Hindi pulitika, kundi ekonomiya ng bansa. Hindi eleksyon, kundi misyon na iahon ang mga kababayan natin sa kahirapan. Kailan pa naging kasalanan ang magtrabaho nang mabilis para sa bayan? (If ever we are working with urgency, it is because the people's interest is at stake. Not for politics, but for the country’s economy. Not for elections, but the mission to alleviate our people from poverty. Since when was it a sin to work with urgency for the sake of the nation?),” he added.

He said amending the Constitution is the last piece of the puzzle, following the progress made in addressing foreign ownership limitations that has constrained investment in many sectors, through the Public Services Act, the Retail Trade Liberalization Act and the Foreign Investments Act.

“Fundamental investment restrictions enshrined in the Philippine Constitution could not be corrected by simple legislations nor by Executive decisions. Hence a need for constitutional amendments,” he said.

The House of Representatives, he said, will continue enacting more laws and acting on legislative measures that will boost the economy and improve the living condition of the people.

“Though we, in the House of Representatives, already did our part in moving the process of amending the Constitution, we have no time to rest. I have directed the House leadership to go full-blast in expediting the approval of other pending measures aimed at creating the environment that will boost economic activities and job creation,” he said.

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