Lawmakers welcome Cha-cha's 'death'-A A +A
Sunday, September 23, 2012
THE death of Charter change (Cha-cha) in the present 15th Congress is welcome news for most lawmakers who deem it "dangerous" to amend restrictive economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier said the House of Representatives lacks time to take action on several proposals to amend the Charter.
"That's a death we welcome. But, it's only dying then let’s drive the final stake. At this time, we should not tamper with the Constitution. It is too dangerous opening the political and economic provisions to the floodgates of negative change," Gabriela Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said.
Akbayan party-list Representative Walden Bello, for his part, said it would have been a "waste of time" if Congress pursued Cha-cha. "There are so many more important bills to take up," he said.
Belmonte said it will take time before Congress could amend provisions of the Constitution, especially on the 60-40 equity limitations and the 25-year land lease agreement.
"I'm very confident that it will move forward, but not necessarily in the next couple of months up to February when in effect we also have to slow down a little bit because of the campaign," he said.
Misamis Occidental Representative Loreto Leo Ocampos, chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments, agreed with Belmonte, but expressed optimism that Cha-cha will again be revived in the 16th Congress.
"All things are possible. We could have it next Congress. But, as of the moment, it is a total surrender," Ocampos said.
Last year, the House and Senate convened a legislative assembly to discuss the procedure on voting on proposed revisions in the Charter.
But the initiative did not gain the approval of President Benigno Aquino III who repeatedly said Cha-cha is not a priority of his administration. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)