ISN'T THERE ANYBODY LISTENING TO NOY? HOUSE PANEL TACKLES CHA-CHA TODAY

MANILA,
OCTOBER 11, 2011 (MALAYA) BY WENDELL VIGILIA THE House committee on constitutional amendments will tackle proposals today on amending economic provisions despite President Aquino’s opposition to the congressional initiative.

Misamis Occidental Rep. Loreto Ocampos, panel chairman, has said there is a need to open up the economic provisions to attract investments and make the economic policies "more flexible to meet the ever changing dynamics of domestic and foreign economic environment."

The proposals include removing the 60-40 percent equity limitations; removing control and management exclusively by Filipinos in companies with foreign equity; expanding the role of foreign investors in the exploration, developing and utilizing natural resources; allowing foreign ownership of industrial lands; liberalizing media by allowing foreign investments in media; liberalizing the practice of profession by allowing foreigners to practice their profession in accordance with the principle of reciprocity; liberalizing investments in educational institutions by allowing foreign investment in tertiary education; and, extending the 25 + 25 years land lease agreement.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda dismissed allegations by Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño that the ruling Liberal Party has connived with the US government and the American Chamber of Commerce to push for changes in the economic provisions of the Constitution.

"I don’t know who his source of information is. Obviously that’s a polluted source. What has come out very strongly in this particular office, in the Office of the President and the President himself, is that there is no priority to amend the Constitution whether it is limited to economic provisions, or not," Lacierda said.

Casiño has said if Aquino is not really keen in pushing for Charter Change, he should rein his party mates who are spearheading the constitutional amendments efforts in Congress.

He also said the United States and American Chamber of Commerce are pushing for the amendments of the economic provisions in the Constitution for their own interests. – With Jocelyn Montemayor


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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