Through UP Law Center Institute for the Administration of Justice
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Con-com’s Halftime Performance: 80% of work’s done, but how near are we to adopting a federal constitution?
May 26, 2018
RESOLVING crucial political and economic issues that have long bedeviled the country has been the name of the game for the 22-member committee handpicked by the President to review no less than the highest law of the land—the 1987 Constitution.
The Consultative Committee (Con-com) is already halfway through its six-month life which started in February.
It may look like there is still much time left, but the committee actually has only less than two months to beat its self-imposed deadline to submit the final constitutional draft to the President on July 19. This is days before the Chief Executive’s State of the Nation Address on July 23.
ConCom to Include Socio-economic Rights in Proposed New Charter
April 4, 2018
The Consultative Committee (ConCom) tasked to review the 1987 Constitution plans to include socio-economic rights, namely the right to education, to health and to decent housing, in the new draft charter’s bill of rights.
“We thought that the protection of these second generation rights would be more robust if some of the socio-economic rights would be incorporated in the bill of rights,” ConCom chairman and former chief justice Reynato S. Puno said during a press briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
Under the present Constitution, no existing provisions in the bill of rights tackles socio-economic rights. It was only enumerated briefly under the Charter’s declaration of principles and state policies.
Con-com Still Considering Proposals on How Much Foreigners Could Own
March 19, 2018
THE Subcommittee on Economic Reforms (SER) of the consultative committee (Con-com) is deliberating on whether to put a specific number, especially on the limitation of foreign ownership and foreign enterprises, in its proposed economic provisions of a new Charter.
SER Chairman Arthur N. Aguilar told the BusinessMirror they have not decided yet but are considering proposals. Either we craft general guidelines and leave the prerogative of placing the numbers to Congress or to put a number and let Congress amend that figure by law, Aguilar said.
He explained that placing a fixed number would tie the hands of Congress and that the economy might have different wants and needs through time.
Con-com Wants to Devolve Issuance of Business Permits
March 7, 2018
President Duterte’s consultative committee (Con-com) is bent on recommending changes in the issuance of business permits and licenses as part of the shift to a federal system of government.
Arthur N. Aguilar, chairman of the Con-com Subcommittee on Economic Reforms and Fiscal Administration, told the BusinessMirror that there is a growing consensus among subcommittee members that business permits and licenses should be issued at regional offices.
“The subcommittee’s growing consensus is that, as much as possible, all permits and licenses should be issued at the level of the regions. As much as possible, but all of these are subject to federal standards,” said Aguilar, a management executive with political science and economics background.
Con-com Urged to Ensure a Strong, Sturdy Federalism Model
February 19, 2018
MANILA – Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, chair of the consultative committee (Con-com) to review the 1987 Constitution, on Monday convened the first session of the Con-com at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
“I urge you to ensure that our federal government will be a strong and sturdy one, possessed with the power to hold together the union in perpetuity and with the energy and the endurance to convert to robust reality the dreams of our people, however long it takes,” Puno said.
He urged the Con-com to devote serious thought on the “architectural design” of the proposed federalism form of government, noting that the design will be to determine the structure of government of the federation.
Focus on the Economics
January 27, 2018
Early this week, the Makati Business Club, the Management Association of the Philippines, and the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines issued a joint statement regarding the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution. The three groups stressed that any constitutional amendments should be, at this time, focused on addressing the restrictive economic provisions by including the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” in some sections of Articles XII (national economy and patrimony), XIV (education, science and technology, arts, culture and sports), and XVI (general provisions).
The move to include the phrase in the proposed amendments does not automatically lift existing restrictions to the full liberalization of all sectors. What it does is give Congress and the President the ability to refine our economic policies to become more dynamic through the enactment of specific laws, and following proper rounds of stakeholder consultations.
This proposal will enable our country to better adjust and adapt to the ever-changing environment brought about by technology and globalization. Note that our close neighbors, such as Vietnam, continue to define and redefine their investment strategies, enabling them to attract quality foreign investments to flow into priority sectors and preferred locations. As a result, the annual foreign direct investments in the Philippines represents only 8 percent of the total FDIs in the Asean region, or just over $8 billion compared to Singapore’s FDI inflow of $53.9 billion and Vietnam’s $12.6 billion.