Need for ‘Cha-cha’ questioned

Need for ‘Cha-cha’ questioned

A LAWMAKER from the House minority urged Wednesday a reconsideration of Congress’ push to amend the 1987 Constitution, arguing that Charter change (“Cha-cha”) is not the sole solution to the country’s pressing concerns.

“The issue is not whether people’s initiative (PI) should be junked and let the constituent assembly continue or that both modes of charter change be pursued, but why push for charter change at all when it will not solve the basic problems of Philippine society, not even if it is limited to the economy,” Deputy Minority Leader and Party-list Rep. France L. Castro said in a statement.

Both the House of Representatives and Senate are seeking constitutional amendments to alleviate economic challenges, with some congressmen supporting charter change through a people’s initiative.

The Senate, responding to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s request, will conduct a review focused on the Constitution’s economic provisions, particularly in public services, education, and advertising.

The German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) endorsed constitutional amendments, stating it would benefit the education sector. GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz noted that the proposal would “enable Filipinos to access top-quality institutions and prepare them for global competitiveness.”

Constitutionalist Michael Henry Ll. Yusingco urged the House and the Senate to “stay true to their word that they will only work on amending those specific economic provisions and nothing more.” Mr. Yusingco emphasized that introducing amendment proposals beyond the specified economic provisions could jeopardize the entire effort.

Mr. Yusingco also stressed the importance of ensuring that charter change deliberations won’t be railroaded by Congress. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz