The House of Representatives is bent on pursuing efforts to amend the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution despite the unwillingness of President Aquino to deal with Charter Change.
This was announced by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales who said in separate interviews that they believe Aquino is keeping an open mind when it comes to reforms that could generate jobs and spur investments in the country.
Belmonte told a news briefing that the question is not whether Congress can undertake Charter change but whether it is needed. He cited the concerns of the government and business communities regarding the restrictive economic provisions as among the impediments to investments, aside from lack of infrastructure and high power rates.
For his part, Gonzales said lawmakers are not defying Aquino in pursuing Charter change, since implementing constitutional reforms are part of the functions of Congress, He added that House of Representatives and the Senate that are empowered to do any constitutional change.
Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education, said Congress cannot be prevented from performing its legislative duties, including Charter change.