Garbin to Senate: Give economic Cha-cha a chance, let public decide

Ako Bicol Rep. Garbin

Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. (Photo from the Facebook account of Ako Bicol)

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate ought to give the proposed economic amendments to the Constitution a probability and permit the public to decide on whether or not or not they are going to be adopted, Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. stated Wednesday.

Garbin, who chairs the House committee on constitutional amendments, made the comment after his panel adopted Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 (RBH 2) regardless of critics questioning its timing particularly because the nation continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

RBH 2 seeks to amend particular economic provisions of the Constitution.

“Ang panawagan natin [sa Senado] ay bigyan ito ng tsansa upang maibato natin ito sa mamamayang Pilipino na tunay naman na pagmamay-ari ng Konstitusyon, ibato natin ito sa isang plebesito,” Garbin stated throughout the Ugnayan sa Batasan press briefing.

(Our name is for the Senate to give this a probability so we can provide the choice to the public who actually owns the Constitution, settle this by way of a plebiscite.)

“If we hear their voices and if we think of the good of the country and the benefit of the Filipino people, sana pagbigyan itong panukala na ito na amyendahan yung restrictive economic provisions ng ating Konstitusyon,” he added.

(If we hear their voices and if we consider the great of the nation and the advantage of the Filipino folks, I hope we can provide this proposal to amend the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution a probability.)

According to Garbin, there haven’t been any formal conferences set between the House and Senate relating to the proposed economic cha-cha.

However, Garbin stated Speaker Lord Allan Velasco has been giving updates to the higher chamber relating to the standing of the matter within the House.

“Sana bigyan nila ng chance because in a democratic, representative democracy, talaga naman dapat ibato natin ito sa taumbayan. Hindi pwedeng basta lang umayaw, tingnan dapat din nila kung ano ang ikabubuti nito sa ating bansa at madadalang benepisyo sa ating bayan,” Garbin stated.

(I hope they can provide it a probability as a result of, in a consultant democracy, we must always throw this to the public. We can’t simply oppose this, we must always have a look at how this can profit the nation.)

But what if the Senate does not push through with the economic cha-cha? For now, Garbin stated the House has no “Plan B”.

“Kami dito sa House, ang direktiba ni Speaker ay tapusin ito sa plenaryo, pag-debatehan, at kunin yung mandato na boto na 3/4s vote of all its members of the House of Representatives,” Garbin stated.

(For us right here within the House, the directive of the Speaker is to settle this within the plenary, have a debate, and meet the mandate of getting three-fourths vote of all of House members.)

“Pag natapos namin ang requirement na ‘yun na hinihingi ng Constitution, it-transmit namin sa Senado, sila na ang bahala doon at pag-isipan nila,” he added.

(Once we meet that requirement as said within the Constitution, we are going to transmit it to the Senate and so they can decide and give it some thought.)

So far, the Senate has performed one listening to on the proposed cha-cha. No date has been set but for additional hearings relating to the matter.


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