Press Release
May 30, 2021

Bong Go open to constitutional amendments on economic provisions but says focus must remain on overcoming COVID-19; warns against changes aimed at benefiting politicians

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go said he would support proposed constitutional amendments on economic provisions if it will benefit the Filipino people, protect their interests, and allow the country to better respond to future crises.

In an interview given on Saturday, May 29, he noted however that while he is open, there may not be enough time to tackle the proposed amendments on the 1987 constitution as Congress will adjourn on June 5 and the priority now of the whole government is to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Iba ang sitwasyon ngayon. Talagang hirap ang ekonomiya dahil nasa pandemya tayo. Kung may babaguhin sa economic provisions, open ako. Para naman ito sa pag-eencourage ng mga foreign investors at pagkakaroon ng job opportunities. Kailangang bumangon ang ekonomiya dahil iba na ang sitwasyon natin sa new normal," he said.

The Senator also warned against any revisions to the Constitution that disproportionately benefit politicians at the expense of the people.

"Sang-ayon ako kung makakatulong ito para bumalik ang sigla ng ekonomiya. Pero hindi ako suportado dito kung ang makikinabang lang ang pulitiko. Hindi ako papayag. Doon lang tayo sa kung ano ang makakatulong sa mga kababayan natin, lalong-lalo na ang mga mahihirap," he reiterated.

The House of Representatives formally began discussions on the proposed charter change last January 13. On Wednesday, May 26, the House approved on second reading Resolution of Both Houses No. 2 which proposes to "liberalize the restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution" in order to open the country to foreign investors and help the economy recover from the adverse impacts of the pandemic.

House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco earlier reassured that all discussions in the Lower Chamber will be solely confined to the economic provisions and the entire process shall be transparent and fair.

The business community has also expressed their support for the move, with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Benedicto Yujuico saying that the proposed amendments will make the country more competitive, boost foreign direct investments, and "address monopolistic, uncompetitive behaviors and under-investments" in certain sectors.

"The Constitution is for the people and by the people. Para sa akin, kung ano ang makakabenepisyo sa Pilipino ay susuportahan ko. Pinag-aaralan natin ang economic provisions dahil kailangan natin ng mga investments so we can recover and restore normalcy sa ating bayan," said Go.

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