PRESIDENT Benigno S. Aquino III hasn’t changed his position and remains reluctant in supporting any amendment to the 1987 Constitution saying the country can achieve development even without it. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. echoed this statement in an interview over dzMM on Tuesday.
Ochoa was reacting to the call of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to amend the present Constitution particularly its economic provisions to attract more foreign investments. “The Senate President was expressing his views lang naman. But as far as I know, the President is not really considering any amendment in the Constitution. Kahit noong araw po, noong congressman siya and when he became a senator, and now that he is the President, he still believes that we can live with the Constitution,” Ochoa said.
Still, Ochoa explained that the President is open to proposals seeking the increase of foreign ownership. The Constitution mandates 60-40 ownership, in favor of Filipino citizens. “He is open to that, but his worry is that once you open up any amendment or any proposal
towards the amendment of the Constitution, it would be like Pandora’s box… na parang very difficult to control na, hindi ka makakasiguro talaga na iyon lang ang ma-aamend,” he noted.
In a separate media briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that as far as the executive branch is concerned, it believes that the economic provisions in the Constitution can still pave the way for economic development.
“Other than amending the Constitution, we will provide a level playing field. We’ll make our rules more investment-friendly and most importantly, we have taken away the graft-ridden process of bidding in so far as government transactions are concerned,” Lacierda said.
The government has also plugged the leakages in tax and revenue collections, he said, adding that the administration believes it can get the growth it wants without having to amend the Constitution. (PCOO)