Charter change push amid COVID pandemic

Rep. Rodriguez insisted that the government should push for its plans to amend the constitution to better address the impacts if COVID-19 in the country.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez reported that he will convene the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments within two weeks of the formal opening of Congress’ Second Session to proceed with considerations on the proposed changes in the Philippine Constitution. 

The Second Session will open with President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 27. Rep. Rodriguez, chairperson of the committee, said that he will call for a virtual meeting of their committee possibly within the first two weeks of their session to tackle the proposals of 1,488 town mayors and other pending measures. 

Last Friday, July 17, Mayor Chavit Singson, President of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), stated that approximately 1,488 mayors are recommending reforms to the constitution. Mayor Singson said the mayors insisted on the lifting of limitations on foreign investment in industries that are at present restricted to Filipinos. Those mayors also proposed the Mandanas ruling of the Supreme Court which aims to widen the logistics and financial capabilities of local government units by acquiring internal revenue allotments (IRA) from national expenses as prescribed in the 1991 Local Government Code. The following barangays: Bagacay; Taclobo; and Batinguel in Dumaguete City will get the largest IRA portions of P8.7 million, P8.6 million and P8.3 million, each for 2020. Singson said that organizing the Mandanas ruling will be beneficial to impoverished regions in the country. 

Rep. Rodriguez also added that local government units will have better chances to battle the dangers of COVID-19 with higher IRA shares. He said that the IRA distributions for the LGUs will be significantly increased which are needed by the LGUs to address the COVID-19 pandemic and other local development programs. 

 

Further, Rep. Rodriguez said that the nation needs progressively foreign investments to address the issue of unemployment. The lawmaker said that particularly in this time, the state needs foreign investments and should welcome foreign organizations moving out of China through the provision of better incentives.

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