• Belmonte eyes Charter Change by June

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    There is a good chance that Charter Change will be passed by June or the end of the First Regular Session of Congress, speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said on Wednesday.
    Belmonte made the disclosure ahead of his meeting with local and foreign Chambers of Commerce next to draw up proposed changes in economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

    “A number of members of the Committee have agreed to co-sponsor it [House Resolution 1 which lifts the limits on foreign ownership on entities unless otherwise provided by law] and all those who filed separate Resolutions for a Constitutional Convention have withdrawn their Resolution in favor of House Resolution Number 1.

    With these proposed changes in economic provisions inserted with the critical phrase “unless otherwise provided by law”, there is a very good chance of this getting passed during the current session,” Belmonte said in a chance interview.

    Belmonte was referring to the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments to tackle the proposed changes.

    The 1987 Charter mandates that foreigners can only own 40 percent of land, public utilities, schools and media entities in the country since the remaining 60 percent should be owned by Filipinos.

    “We are looking at around five sectors [where the limit will be changed], but we are not saying that there should be no limit. What it provides is the phrase [after the amendment]unless provided by law so that Congress and the President can pass a law that would be responsive to the situation and promote our competitiveness,” Belmonte pointed out.

    “I am in favor of this [reducing limits]because foreign direct investments stay with you. If the industries will put up business here for good, it will also spur job creation and contribute in our inclusive growth,” Belmonte added.

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