Senators see faster resolution on Charter reforms with RBH 7

By Wilnard Bacelonia

February 21, 2024, 2:14 pm

<p>Senate building <em>(PNA file photo by Avito Dalan)</em></p>

Senate building (PNA file photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – Senators welcomed Wednesday the filing of the Resolution of Both Houses No. 7 (RBH 7) in the House of Representatives, saying the move results in faster and smoother proceedings on the proposed amendments to the three economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. said "the sooner we conclude this, the better it is for our people."

"This proposal mirrors RBH 6 in the Senate, and will usher in an expeditious and efficient consideration and resolution of issues and concerns on the proposed amendments," Revilla said in a statement, noting that there is nothing wrong with both houses of Congress simultaneously tackling the measures.

Revilla also thanked President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for trusting the Senate to take the lead in the proposed charter reforms.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada said the filing was a demonstration of the House of Representatives' commitment "to shaping the future of our nation through thoughtful and deliberate constitutional amendments."

"Let us hope that this collaborative effort results in positive changes that benefit all Filipinos," Estrada said in a separate statement.

The two senators are hopeful that the "word war" between the two legislative bodies will end now that the RBH 6 and RBH 7 are both rolling.

Earlier, Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., one of the authors of RBH 7, said the resolution “is very similar” to the Senate’s RBH 6, which would address restrictions on foreign ownership of public utilities, educational institutions, and advertising industries.

During the plenary session on Tuesday, the House approved the motion of Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin for the House Committee of the Whole to take up RBH 7.

Both RBH 6 and RBH 7 call for a constitutional assembly as a mode to amend the charter by restating the constitutional provision that Congress may propose amendments "upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members."

Marcos revealed earlier that he had been talking with the leaderships of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, reiterating his request for the Senate to take the lead on the proposed amendments to the Constitution. (PNA)