Senators say Con-Ass an ‘unnecessary’ diversion

By Wilnard Bacelonia

February 9 2023, 5:33 pm

<p>Senators Grace Poe (left) and Nancy Binay <em>(Photos courtesy of Senate PRIB)</em></p>

Senators Grace Poe (left) and Nancy Binay (Photos courtesy of Senate PRIB)

MANILA - A Constitutional Assembly (ConAss), which may result into a decision to amend the Constitution, is just a waste of time according to a couple of senators Thursday, who suggested instead to focus on the urgent matters that need to be addressed.

Senator Grace Poe on Thursday said a lot more needs to be done in infrastructure, healthcare, jobs creation and stopping the rampant smuggling in the agriculture sector.

"Sa dami kasi ng nangyayari ngayon sa ating bansa, alam n'yo, kapag nagkaroon ng (A lot is happening in our country now, you know, if we will have a) constitutional assembly or constitutional convention, lahat ng trabaho ay matututok doon. Eh napakarami nating dapat gawin (all the work will be focused there. There’s a lot of things that we still need to do)," Poe told reporters in an ambush interview during her ocular inspection at the North Luzon Express Way Caloocan-España connector.

She mentioned hearing about the purpose for pushing the ConAss is to change some economic provisions in the Constitution which she said were already addressed in the 18th Congress.

"Eh naayos na natin 'yan (We have already fixed that) by clarifying the meaning of the Constitution when it comes to the Public Service Act as well as the Trade Liberalization Act. Naayos na natin ang dalawang importanteng (We have already fixed the two important) economic provisions," Poe said.

"Kung economic provisions ang dahilan, hindi natin kailangan sa ngayon (If the reason is the economic provisions, we don't need that now)," she added citing other possible reasons such as term extension which, the lawmaker said, will most probably be subjected to relentless debates.

Senator Nancy Binay agreed with Poe, as he expressed her confidence that the economic measures passed in the 18th Congress are sufficient to encourage investors and help revitalize the country's economy.

"Alam naman nating divisive masyado ang charter change. Ang kailangan natin ay magkaisa para paghandaan yung posibleng (We know that charter change is very divisive. What we need is to unite in preparing for the possible) global recession," Binay said in a statement.

"Dapat doon tayo mag-focus sa mga isyu na direktang nakakabit sa sikmura (We need to focus on issues directly attached to our stomachs)," she added.

Senator Robinhood Padilla on Wednesday filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 3 calling the Congress to convene as a ConAss and propose amendments to the Constitution, particularly in economic provisions, which are "perceived to be barriers to trade and investment." (PNA)