Press Release
January 7, 2021

Talk about Cha-cha an exercise in futility, Drilon says
Instead of talking about Cha-cha, Drilon says Congress should focus on measures to address the pandemic, joblessness and inflation

To talk about Charter change (Cha-cha) in the final stretch of the Duterte administration is an exercise in futility, according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Thursday.

"It will be a total waste of time. It won't fly. Our history tells us that Cha-cha has a zero chance of success in any administration that is already in the home stretch," Drilon said.

"It is a sin to be even talking about changing the Constitution when there is still no end in sight to the pandemic, when the government is struggling to secure funding for Covid-19 vaccines, and when the country is still reeling from the continuing impact of the pandemic and the recent typhoons," Drilon said.

The minority leader vowed to oppose it along with his colleagues in the minority, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan and Leila de Lima.

"Instead of talking about Cha-cha, let's talk about how we can bring down inflation and let's talk about how we can bring back lost jobs and livelihood opportunities," Drilon said.

Inflation peaks at 3.5% in December while unemployment reached 8.7% or around 3.8 million jobless Filipinos in October, he noted.

Two administration senators filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 which seeks to convene the 18th Congress as a Constituent Assembly to amend several provisions of the 1987 Constitution citing "mounting economic & health concerns brought about by the pandemic."

"It will reach a dead end in the Senate. It will be an exercise in futility," he said.

Drilon said if the genuine objective is to open up the economy to attract more investments, the Congress can do it by way of amending and updating some economic laws.

He cited, for instance, the amendments in the 83-year-old Public Service Law and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000.

Drilon filed twin measures seeking to amend the 83-year-old Public Service Law and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000 with the end view of attracting foreign investments and improving the quality of consumer goods and services in the country.

Drilon said the restrictive requirements of both laws impede foreign investments in the country.

Senate Bill No. 13 proposes to limit the definition of public utility, while opening up other public services to the market. He also filed Senate Bill No. 14 which seeks to further relax foreign restrictions by removing investment categories and setting an across-the-board minimum paid up capital investment.

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