Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Monday the proposal to amend "restrictive" economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution has a better chance of passing the chamber than a wholesale amendment of the charter.
Sotto made the remark after the House of Representatives adopted Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 or the proposed economic Charter change, aimed at helping the country to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by opening up the economy to foreign investments.
"On a personal note, this has a better chance of passing instead of a Cha-cha," Sotto said in an interview with CNN Philippines.
"If we're talking about amendments on charter and very focused on economic provisions alone, it stands a better chance of passing in the Senate. I myself will agree as long as it's addressing the economic issues," he added.
Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 inserts the phrase "unless otherwise provided by law" to the constitutional provisions on national economy and patrimony; education, science and technology, arts, culture, and sports; and on its general provisions. This gives Congress more leeway to enact laws that would free up the economy to foreign investors.
Sotto said the Senate would have to thoroughly deliberate on the proposed economic Cha-cha, especially that the chamber recently passed three measures which can already address the need for more foreign investments.
These are the amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Services Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act.
Once the economic Cha-cha passes both houses of Congress, it will still need to be approved by the general public in a plebiscite seen to take place alongside the May 2022 elections.