Charter change seen as an opportunity to review provisions ‘relevant’ for attracting investment

THE Constitutional amendment process is an opportunity to review provisions that are relevant in attracting foreign investment, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

“This is a good opportunity for us to deliberate… because for the Philippines, as a developing country, it is very important that we promote the country as an investment destination. We have to really work closely also with our trading and investment partners,” Trade Assistant Secretary Allan B. Gepty told reporters in response to the DTI’s position on proposed amendments to the Constitution.

“The initiative to revisit, study again, certain economic provisions in the constitution is a welcome development because at least this an opportunity for us to study and evaluate if… these provisions are still relevant, if they still serve the purpose when they were adopted by the framers of the Constitution,” he added.

Mr. Gepty said that the Philippines has been open to trade, but has implemented a “calculated approach” in terms of foreign investment.

“… As far as trade policy is concerned, I think it has to be very clear that we did not adopt an isolationist policy,” Mr. Gepty said.

“We really have to work closely with our trading and investment partners… In other words, we should not only focus on trade, we should also focus on services (and) investment,” he added.

Last month, the House of Representatives passed a resolution in support of a constitutional convention (con-con), which would propose amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution.

The Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments chairman, Robinhood Ferdinand C. Padilla is pushing to amend the charter via a constituent assembly.

Under a constituent assembly, Congress itself will pass amendments or revisions to the Constitution with a three-fourths vote of all its members. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave