The House of Representatives is not rushing the amendment to the Constitution that lifts restrictions on foreign ownership of businesses and public utilities.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. of Quezon City made the announcement after the House adjourned for the Christmas break.
“The reason I am not hurrying this up is because I am not so sure if this will be funded, unless it is made a rider in the 2016 polls where the voter can tick a box in the ballot [and choose between]yes or no [to Charter Change]. That is what I am thinking,” Belmonte told reporters.
Belmonte’s Resolution of Both Houses 1 removes the 40-percent limit on foreign ownership on public utilities, media entities, land and exploration of natural resources and
30 percent limit on for advertising firms and other business ventures.
Aside from funding issues, the Speaker also admitted that Charter Change faces rough sailing in Congress because amending the Constitution can only be done if two-thirds of the 292 members of the House vote for the amendments.
“We can hardly get full quorum [attendance]. The largest quorum we can muster is 230. To pass economic provisions, we need two-thirds vote [of the members of Congress]. That is quite big. If it were an ordinary law requiring a simple majority, it has already been passed into law, that’s for sure,” he pointed out.