Palace still won't back Cha-cha

Posted at 05/14/2014 5:00 PM

MANILA - Malacañang continues to stay out of Congress' moves to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda maintained better economic conditions, and not a new Constitution, will encourage more foreign investments in the country.

"Well, the legislature is doing its part. But...the President has always maintained the position that we can have... We have seen economic growth without necessarily amending the Constitution. What we need to do is to better the business environment and that's what we have been doing. We have been leveling the playing field; and, in fact, proof of this fact that we created a better business climate would be the credit rating agencies, they have given us investment grade," he said.

Lacierda noted, "Very recently, S&P gave us one notch of our investment grade. So, these things do not necessarily or did not require us to amend the Constitution. And yet people are seeing that we are moving in the right direction."

On Tuesday night, Representative Elpidio Barzaga delivered a sponsorship speech for Resolution of Both Houses #1 authored by Speaker Sonny Belmonte.

RBH#1 seeks to give Congress the power to relax the economic restrictions of the Constitution. A counterpart measure has been filed at the Senate by Senator Ralph Recto.

"Some of the restrictive economic provisions which we seek to amend were part of the 1935 Constitution, included again in the 1973 Constitution and again incorporated in the 1987 Constitution. They have been there from 1935 up to the present, 2014 or a continuous period covering 79 years. My colleagues, we are called upon to amend the provision which for a long period of time have deterred our economic growth."

Discussions on amendments to the Constitution seem to be a staple close to the term of each president, thus fueling perennial speculations that its real motive is to lift term limits or alter other political provisions.