Delay in Charter Change Decision to Put on Hold Investments

http://www.pia.gov.ph/default.asp?m=12&r=R11&y=06&mo=12&fi=p061027.htm&no=03

PIA Press Release
2006/10/27

Delay in Charter change decision to put on hold investments, says PCCI

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (27 October) -- The delay in coming up with the decision on whether to amend the Constitution will also delay the changes in the country’s economic policies and put on hold investments that could go ten folds to about US $350 billion.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Donald Dee in a briefing with the Davao media past midnight on Wednesday at Krua Thai in Torres St., Davao City said he was saddened with the decision of the Supreme Court junking the people’s initiative to amend the Constitution.

But he said all chamber organizations of the country are one in saying that they must respect the law and abide by the decision of the Supreme Court.

Dee was in Davao City together with Atty. Miguel Varela, president of Employees Confederation of the Philippines and Sergio Ortiz-Luiz, president of PhilExport Federation and met with the officers and members of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry who earlier disaffiliate with the PCCCI because of issues affecting the organization.

Dee did not give details of their discussions but said the talk with the Davao chamber officials was very friendly even as he said that he told them to come up with formula inorder to solve the issue.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who issued an earlier statement of support to DCCCII in coming up with the stand was with the PCCI team in meeting with the local chamber officials.

“The PCCI will bent over backward to see that the problem is solve – that I promise the Mayor,” he said.

DCCCII president Atty Bienvenido Cariaga said they will start discussing the matter during their next board meeting.

Back to the charter change issue he said that with the recent development, the House of Representatives will then organize a constitutional assembly but this might be delayed until after the elections.

“We should as a country give them the process of amending the Constitution in order to remove the economic policy that has strangled the country,” he said.

He said investments ready to be poured in would be delayed involving mining, agriculture, telecommunication and even in higher education.

The economic reforms, he said should be done as soon as possible and among others this include the ownership of the land that the foreign chamber had been waiting for.

“This had been the strong statement of the joint foreign chambers and other major foreign chambers that we have in the Philippines,” he said.

He said the projected investments would grow tenfold but must first remove restrictive economic policies in the Constitution and at the same time put safeguards that would protect the country’s resources.

President Arroyo had clearly said that she is for amending the Constitution even as the President said she will stick to the process, Dee added.

Personally, he said if the Supreme Court can agree for a Con Ass that would be a good solution because it is faster and less expensive.

“And everybody agrees that we should amend the Constitution,” he said. (PIA XI) [top]