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House approves hybrid con-con charter amendment bill

A resolution adopting Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6, which calls for a hybrid constitutional convention (con-con) to propose revisions to the economic sections of the 1987 Constitution, was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday during its third and final reading.

House Bill (HB) 7352, the bill that goes along with RBH 6, was approved on the third reading by the chamber with 301 votes in favor, seven against, and no abstentions.

The House constitutional reform plan, according to the bill’s author and Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, aims to alter the “restrictive” economic provisions of the Constitution to make it possible for the nation to draw in more international investment.

For our people to have greater options to find work and earn money, we need more foreign investment. Our economic development will be sustained by more investments, he said.

He said that loosening the Charter’s economic restrictions would expand the nation’s investment opportunities and economic potential.

The proposed law calls for the convention to hold office for a seven-month period beginning on December 1, 2023, and ending on June 30, 2024.

A plebiscite must be held neither earlier than 60 days nor later than 90 days after the proposed con-report cons have been given to the President and Congress in order for the proposed Charter revisions to be put up for ratification.

One delegate from each legislative district will be elected to serve on the envisioned con-con, which will be held on October 30, 2023.

The Senate has approved a bill that would require the senate to approve a bill.

Three retired judges, three academics, three lawyers, two economists, two each from labor, urban poor, farmers, and fishermen, indigenous cultural communities, women, youth, veterans, cooperatives, senior citizens, and people with disabilities, as well as such other sectors as the Senate President and House Speaker may determine, make up the appointed sectoral representatives.

Within 15 days of the convention’s opening, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate must choose the appointive members.

A delegate must be at least 25 years old on the election day or the day of their appointment, have earned a college degree, be registered to vote in the district in which they will serve, and have lived there for at least a year before the election.

The implementing rules and regulations for the election of con-con members must be issued by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Any candidate for con-con delegate cannot be nominated, fielded, endorsed, supported, or campaigned for by officers or members of any political party or coalition.

No candidate may pose as a member of a political party or alliance or permit such representation.

Any individual in a position of authority, including members of the armed forces, shall be deemed to have resigned upon filing a certificate of candidacy as a delegate to the con-con.

Any person elected or appointed to the convention is not permitted to be appointed to any government office while the convention is in session or within one year of its adjournment, or to run in the first local or national elections held following the approval of the proposed modifications.

The same parliamentary immunity granted to a member of Congress is also extended to con-con delegates.

Without interfering with public service, the Senate, the House, and other government organizations must make any staff, resources, tools, or office space required by the convention available.

The national budget for 2023’s available appropriations will first be used to pay for the conference before being included in the budget plan for the following year.

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