Press Release
July 28, 2021

Drilon: 'Cha-cha resurrects like COVID-19 virus'

"Cha-cha is like the COVID-19 virus that resurrects regularly."

That is how Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon described attempts to resurrect Charter change by some officials in the Duterte administration and the Duterte-controlled House of Representatives who recently made a final push for the passage of the long "dead" Cha-cha.

Drilon said that even the President was aware that Cha-cha was already "dead on arrival" in the Senate, thus, there was no mention of Cha-cha when the President delivered his final and longest State of the Nation Address (Sona) post-EDSA revolution.

"The President delivered the longest SONA in the post-EDSA era for a total duration of two hours and 45 minutes. That's the longest that I can remember. Not one minute was devoted to Cha-cha," Drilon said.

Drilon said that while the President devoted a substantial portion of his speech urging Congress to prioritize bills that he wants enacted in the next 12 months, Cha-cha was deliberately omitted.

"The signal is clear: in the last year of Duterte, he will not dance the cha-cha," Drilon said.

He also recalled that Cha-cha was never mentioned by the President in its last three SONAs.

The minority leader said that the cha-cha being pushed by the HOR is to add the phrase "unless otherwise provided by law" in the economic provisions of the Constitution, which means Congress would still have to enact those laws.

He said there is no need for a so-called economic Cha-cha as the objectives can be achieved by enactment of various economic measures currently pending in Congress.

"The liberalization of the investment climate can be achieved in the major sectors of our economy by the enactment of the proposed amendments to the Public Service Act, the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the Foreign Investment Act, and the other economic bills in the LEDAC list," Drilon stressed.

Drilon is the principal author of the bills amending Public Service Act and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, which, with the Foreign Investment Act, will be approved by the Senate in the coming weeks.

"The immediate passage of these measures will help address a number of foreign investment roadblocks and hasten our economic recovery," he underscored.

"No chance that the Senators will dance the 'economic cha-cha' in the remaining months of the 18th Congress. Dancing the cha-cha is not in the Senate's agenda," Drilon said.

He added that during a Senate caucus Tuesday to discuss the legislative agenda for the third regular session, which is shortened by the 2022 election period, there's no senator who proposed cha-cha.

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