With barely a year left in the Duterte administration, former Vice President Jejomar Binay believes the House of Representatives’ current push for Charter change (Cha-Cha) is ill timed.
In his January 13 column for the Manila Bulletin, Binay said doubts remain over lawmakers’ assurance that only the economic provisions of the Constitution will be touched.
He called “incorrect and misleading” Cha-Cha proponents’ claim that amending the Constitution will lead to economic growth.
“The worldwide pandemic has hit even the major economies. It would be naive, if not disingenuous, to declare that private investments from these economies will immediately make a beeline for the Philippines once we remove the restrictive provisions in the Constitution,” the former Vice President said.
Binay said the administration’s choice for undertaking Cha-Cha—convening the Senate and House into a constituent assembly—also raises suspicion that they will tinker with the Constitution’s political provisions given the chance.
He said Cha-Cha should not be rushed, particularly since the country is in the middle of a pandemic.
“As I have said before, revising the Constitution is a process that should not be rushed. Given our historical experience with charter change, the probability that the assembly will be used to push political amendments to benefit incumbents remains high,” Binay said.
“What we need during this pandemic is coherent, caring, and competent government, not charter change,” he added.