More investments, upskilled Filipinos seen with economic reforms

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

February 20, 2024, 6:31 pm Updated on February 20, 2024, 7:00 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution are vital in attracting more foreign investments and upskilling Filipino workforce, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Tuesday.

“We just want to get those amendments incorporated into the Constitution to improve the chances of investment and upskilling of our people,” Marcos said in a media interview on the sidelines of an event at the Metropolitan Theater in the City of Manila.

Marcos said consultations on proposed Charter reforms have already been done “months ago,” adding that the Senate is now taking the lead in introducing amendments to the Constitution.

Aware of persistent calls for him to interfere to resolve the Senate and the House of Representatives’ differing views on Charter change, Marcos said he has been doing it “quietly” and “without any fuss.”

“Between the two houses, they will come to an agreement then that will be the way we’ll do it,” he said.

“It’s really a storm in a tea cup because this has been decided very long ago from both the leaders of both houses… You know, what for me is more important than to make these proclamations, pronouncements, what’s more important is to get it done,” Marcos added.

Last month, Marcos said he is in constant communication with lawmakers and legal luminaries to get their insights on the proposed reforms to the Constitution.

House leaders on Monday filed Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) 7, seeking amendments to certain provisions of the Constitution.

RBH7 is similar to Senate’s RBH6, particularly Articles XII (National Economy and Patrimony), XIV (Education, Science, Technology, Arts, Culture, and Sports), and XVI (General Provisions).

The proposed changes under RBH7 aim to address restrictions on foreign ownership of public utilities, educational institutions, and advertising industries.

Legislated wage hike viable

At the House of Representatives, PBA party-list Rep. Margarita Nograles said a legislated wage increase will be viable if constitutional amendments are introduced to attract more foreign investments.

She said the financial burden for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) associated with the proposed PHP100 wage hike can be countered by amending the economic provisions of the Constitution to allow more foreign capital.

"Sana nga po magkasundo na po ang Senate at tsaka Congress at magawa po natin ang trabaho natin with regard to the economic provisions… (Hopefully, the Senate and House would agree and work together with regard to [amending] the economic provision),” she said in a press conference on Tuesday. (with a report from Filane Cervantes/PNA)