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    Posted March 5, 2014 by

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    Move to amend Phl Charter defended

    TO erase doubts befalling the insistent move for Charter change, a veteran lawmaker on Wednesday proposed that members of the House of Representatives sign a pledge to the Filipino people that only the restrictive provisions of the Constitution will be amended.
    Partylist Rep. Jose L. Atienza, Jr. initiated a signature move through House Resolution No. 864 which has been referred to the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments for proper disposition.
    The resolution is urging members of the House of Representatives to sign a pledge to the Filipino people that we will focus only on the economic provisions as we move towards amending the Philippine Constitution.
    "There are concerns that the amendments will not only change the economic provisions, but also touch on the political provisions," Atienza noted.
    The political provisions being most cited, Atienza further said, are the extension of the terms of government officials and the lifting of term limits.
    He pointed out that his move for a signed-pledge to be made by members of Congress is designed to assured the people that there are no underhanded tactics to amend the political provisions in the Constitution.
    Even as moves to the contrary have been referred to the appropriate House committee, like the resolutions filed by party-list groups opposing charter change, the House Constitutional amendments panel is currently conducting a series of public consultations on the need to amend the restrictive provisions of the Charter, especially in terms of allowing more foreign ownership within the Philippines.
    Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. is principal author of Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 1 which calls for the removal of the restrictive provisions of the Constitution by just adding the phrase "unless otherwise provided by law."
    The Speaker is committed to amend only the economic provisions, stressing that his proposed change would only serve as key to make the nation's fundamental law a flexible instrument for development without sacrificing or prejudice to national interest or sovereignty.
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