- Published on Friday, 03 August 2012 00:00
By A Web design Company
The Makati Business Club yesterday said that the present is not the right time to tamper with the Constitution. Congress has more urgent bills to pass.
MBC was reacting to renewed efforts to amend the Charter by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.
Although originally not inclined to the idea, President Aquino two days ago directed his economic team to review the economic provisions of the Constitution and submit their findings after two weeks.
MBC said the “right time” to amend the Constitution’s economic provisions – as Enrile and Belmonte propose – would be right after the 2013 elections.
The MBC said it welcomes a constitutional amendment that would enable Congress to pass legislation that would eliminate or alter the nationality provisions in the Constitution.
It suggested a resort to some so-called “surgical amendments” such as the insertion of a phrase like “unless modified or removed by Congress” to the nationality provisions, through a method similar to the passage of ordinary legislation but requiring each house of Congress to pass these with a 3/4 vote of approval, followed by a plebiscite.
The MBC said the Senate and the House of Representatives have “matters of greater urgency” that they need to address with higher priority between now and the 2013 elections .
They group cited nine bills: the 2013 General Appropriations Act (pending in the House Committee); the bill restructuring the excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products (“sin” taxes) (House Bill 5727 – approved on third reading) / (pending in the Senate Committee); the amendments to the Mining Act of 2005 to conform to the Executive Order on mining (pending in the respective House and Senate Committees); . the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development Act (House Bill 4244 – pending second reading) / Reproductive Health Act (Senate Bill 2865 – pending second reading); the Freedom of Information bill (pending in the House Committee) / People’s Ownership of Government Information (POGI) Act (Senate Bill 3208 – pending second reading); further strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering Law (House Bill 4275 – approved on third reading) / (Senate Bill 3123 – pending second reading); the Philippine Fair Competition Act (House Bill 4835 – pending second reading) / Competition Act (Senate Bill 3098 – pending second reading); the Investments and Incentives Code (House Bill 4935 – approved on third reading) / (pending in the Senate Committee) and; the bill Strenghtening the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Program (House Bill 5714 – approved on third reading) / Whistleblower Protection Act (Senate Bill 2860 – pending second reading)