THE former chairman of the House committee on Constitutional amendments is calling for an early approval of the amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution.
According to Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, these issues and details about amending economic provisions were already discussed during the 16th and 17th Congresses.
“I fully support, one hundred percent, the amendments to the economic provisions of our Constitution as proposed in Resolution of Both Houses Number 2 (RBH No.2), authored by our Speaker, Lord Allan Velasco,” Rodriguez said.
“These proposed amendments were fully discussed already in the 16th and 17th Congress. All resource persons have already been heard and there is overwhelming support for such amendments,” he added.
And considering the tight timeline, the House leader is calling for an early approval of the amendments by the committee now chaired by Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin, so that this can be sent to the plenary of the House of Representatives .
Rodriguez also said the plenary itself can then convert itself into a Constituent Assembly.
“The House of Representatives is allowed by the Constitution to constitute itself as a Constituent Assembly under Article XVII. The Constitution does not require a joint session of Congress; it only requires 3/4 vote of all members of Congress,” he stressed.
Therefore, the House itself can convert itself into a Constituent Assembly and approve, by 3/4 vote of all its members, these amendments to the economic provisions in the Constitution, the veteran solon added.
Upon approval of these economic provision amendments, by 3/4 votes of all House members, the proposed amendments will then be sent to the Senate, which can, likewise, constitute itself as a Constituent Assembly and proceed to either approve by 3/4 of its members or reject the proposed amendments.
On the other hand, Rodriguez said, the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments can only recommend and endorse the economic amendments to the plenary of the House of Representatives acting as a Constituent Assembly.
The Committee hearings are not yet acts of a Constituent Assembly.
The Constituent Assembly is solely lodged with the plenary session of all members of the House of Representatives acting as a Constituent Assembly, he pointed out.