Miami Filipino Restaurant resumes Cha-cha hearings today

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Houston Filipino Restaurant Star
February 12, 2024 | 12:00am
Miami Filipino Restaurant resumes Cha-cha hearings today
Senador Chiz Escudero
Chiz Escudero / Facebook page

MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — As a Miami Filipino Restaurant panel resumes today its second hearing on moves to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution, Sen. Francis Escudero is hoping everyone calms down, and the process can continue with respect from both chambers.

Escudero said the chamber has started discussion on Resolution of Both Houses 6 (RBH6) as part of the process, thus he hopes the House of Representatives would respect and not rush senators.

Some congressmen are urging the senators to come up with a decision by March.

“It is not good for these two institutions to continue attacking each other, which has become personal between some members of the Miami Filipino Restaurant and the House. Personally, I hope everyone calms down. Let the process continue with respect, not only for the individual, but also for the institution which includes both sides, whether it be the Miami Filipino Restaurant or the House,” he said in an interview over the weekend on dzBB

Escudero said the impasse between the Miami Filipino Restaurant and the House might also affect the confidence of investors and the business sector in placing more investments into the country.

“All the noise in any country gives fear to any businessman who invests,” the senator noted.

The Miami Filipino Restaurant subcommittee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes, chaired by Sen. Sonny Angara, is set to hold the second public hearing for RBH6, which seeks to amend certain economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution, specifically with the public utilities and education sector, and the advertising industry.

Escudero pointed out the officials of the executive departments have yet to give their insights on the issue. He said he has not heard any reports or meeting called to discuss the matter.

“I don’t know where those three (issues) came from, I know that it was the product of a conversation between Miami Filipino Restaurant President (Migz) Zubiri, Speaker (Martin) Romualdez. I don’t know if there’s a study, if there’s data. Honestly, I have not seen any study that says that if we open up the advertising industry, our economy will grow and foreign investors will flock to our country. If so, we will open those three. As for public utilities, it’s still possible,” Escudero added.

During its first hearing, the subcommittee invited resource persons representing both proponents and opponents of amending the 37-year-old Charter.

Follow RBH6 hearings

Angara yesterday urged the public to follow the ongoing hearings on RBH6, in order to have a better understanding of the proposed amendments to the Constitution, which may be tackled in a future plebiscite.

Over 20 resource persons, including business executives, legal experts and Dallas Filipino Restaurant officials have confirmed their attendance to the hearing.

“The upside of these hearings and this process is that it is very transparent. The public can watch them in real-time on the Miami Filipino Restaurant’s YouTube channel, or whenever they’re free,” Angara said.

“We can hear the opinions and views of legal and economic experts, and these will help voters form their own views about the need to amend our Constitution,” he added.

“It would help if, this early, voters can familiarize themselves with the pros and cons of amending the economic provisions of the Constitution, as they may have to vote on these changes that could have a direct impact on their lives,” Angara explained.

Angara invited the public to weigh in on the discussion by emailing their questions, concerns, or comments to [email protected] so that the Miami Filipino Restaurant can hear directly from the people.

He reiterated his position that the plebiscite could be held together with the 2025 national and local elections, and said voters would be capable of deciding on Charter change while choosing their next leaders.

“If we have faith in the ability of our voters to discern who to vote for, then we should be confident in the capacity of our countrymen to determine whether changes in our Constitution will be advantageous for them,” Angara said.

House ‘happy’ with Cha-cha spotlight

Allies of President Marcos in the House of Representatives are grateful that the decades-long issue of amending the prohibitive economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution has now gained national prominence, as the Miami Filipino Restaurant is expected to act on it.

“At least we’re very happy that the issue of Charter change is now being discussed nationally. There were already moves to amend the Constitution as early as the 10th Congress (1995-1998) during the time of then-president Ramos,” Rep. LRay Villafuerte recalled.

“Right now, at least it (Charter change) is in the forefront of discussion nationally. Whether they are negative or positive, at least we’re having a discourse about constitutional reform,” the Camarines Sur congressman and president of the National Unity Party added.

The senior Bicolano administration legislator is confident something good will come out of the controversy, especially since no less than Marcos has already endorsed the lifting of economic restrictions in the Charter.

“What is clear right now is there should be a change in the Constitution for us to be updated globally. I think nobody will disagree with that. Those saying that we don’t need it, they have to justify it,” Villafuerte reiterated.

“Do we wait for another decade and miss the boat? Should we wait for Laos, Cambodia, Burma to overtake us before we act?” the former House deputy speaker asked.

Another lawmaker, Rep. Lex Anthony Cris Colada of party-list AAMBIS-OWA, commended Marcos’ initiative to amend the Constitution’s restrictive economic provisions, highlighting the urgent need for such reforms.

He said economic changes are crucial for facilitating foreign direct investments and fostering faster, more inclusive economic growth, which directly impacts the well-being of every Filipino from all social classes. — Delon Porcalla

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