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House leaders back Velasco on Cha-Cha

Lord Allan Velasco and Martin Romualdez
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez

LEADERS belonging to various political groups and blocs in the House of Representatives have issued a manifesto of support for Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, the proponent of the Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 which seeks to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution in order to help the country recover from the devastating impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The signatories of the manifesto were House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez for Lakas-CMD; Deputy Speaker and 1-PACMAN Rep. Michael “Mikee” Romero for the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc,; Cavite Rep.. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. for the National Unity Party (NUP); Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers for the Nacionalista Party (NP); Deputy Speaker and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Salvador “Doy” Leachon, Rizal Rep. Michael John Duavit for the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC); Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab for Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), and Aurora Rep. Rommel Rico Angara for the independent bloc.

In the manifesto, the political leaders vowed that the House will “deliberate only on the economic provisions” as specified in Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 2, which is now being taken up by the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments.

They said the legislative chamber will remain consistent with its position that when Congress proposes amendments to the 34-year-old Charter, “the House of Representatives and the Senate shall vote separately.”

The proposed amendments will be submitted to the people for ratification simultaneously with the May 2022 national elections, they added.

“We believe that now is the most opportune time to resume the deliberation on the amendments to the economic provisions specified under RBH No. 2 for the primary purpose of mitigating and providing lasting solutions to the devastating economic effects brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the manifesto read.

“In doing so, we hope to fortify and safeguard the foundations of our nation from future crises and curtail the severity of other economic regressions going forward,” they added.

The leaders said that they “remain firm in our resolve to utilize all means possible within the period left for the 18th Congress to adopt measures and introduce reforms that will provide the maximum benefit to the Filipino people and lead the country towards a robust and sustainable recovery.”

Earlier, the nation’s top economists threw their support behind efforts to amend the economic provisions in the Charter to make the Philippines “more foreign investment-friendly” and to accelerate the country’s economic recovery.