A member of the majority bloc in the House of Representatives has warned that efforts extending the term of President Noynoy Aquino would derail the much-needed legislative reforms, which will sustain the economic growth in the country.
Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian said too much talk about amendments to the Constitution’s political provisions to allow President Aquino to run in 2016 polls is creating divisions among the different political parties.
“Because of the talk of political Chacha, the different political parties in Congress are taking sides. This will eventually derail the members in tackling the much needed legislative reforms to strengthen the economy and lure more investors,” Gatchalian said.
The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) pointed out that even Liberal Party members in the Senate are not spared by the “political Chacha train” since any Charter change will not prosper without the consent and cooperation of the Upper Chamber.
“The root cause of instability is a divided Congress. And when Congress is divided, the Filipino people will be at the losing end since the much-needed legislative reforms will not happen with the pre-occupation of some legislators with political Chacha,” he explained.
At the same time, Gatchalian welcomed the statement of Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, who maintained that those implying that the President is pushing for Charter change should stop making the issue bigger than it is.
He said Lacierda’s statement is a welcome move although it would be best if the President himself will issue a categorical statement that he has no plans of running again in 2016.
“It would be best for the country right now if the President will stop the political Chacha in the Lower House and call on his party mates and allies to focus on crafting priority laws that will sustain the economic gains of his administration,” Gatchalian said.
The veteran solon reiterated that he is in favor of the amendments to the Constitution’s economic provisions but he is against allowing foreigners to become majority owners of properties or businesses in the country.
Gatchalian is referring to House Speaker Sonny Belmonte’s House Resolution No. 1, which seeks to add the phrase “unless otherwise amended by law” to constitutional provisions on ownership of land and certain businesses.
Although revising the 60-40 ownership rule will indeed draw more foreign businessmen to invest in local companies and in turn generate more employment, Gatchalian said altering the provisions on land ownership will leave farmers with nothing to till.
“What will happen to our farmers if they have no more land? The issue here is security of land tenure. The government must recognize the importance of the agricultural sector and protect the interests of workers in that sector. The provision on land ownership should remain untouched,” the lawmaker said. (Monica Cantilero)