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Enrile presses for change to Charter limits on equity

[ manilastandardtoday.com ] July 26, 2011

SENATE president Juan Ponce Enrile again called for amending the 24-year-old Constitution during the opening of the second regular session of the 15th Congress on Monday, when President Benigno Aquino III delivered his second State-of-the Nation Address.

“Perhaps now is the time to explore the possibility of introducing amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution,” he said.

“This very important issue must be debated on openly and intelligently as we try to help infuse the economy with sufficient stimuli that will spur the growth in our industries and businesses and create more jobs for our people.”

Reacting, Senator Joker Arroyo warned that amending the Constitution “is easier said than done.”

But House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said the government must improve its tax administration and rationalize its fiscal incentives to boost the country’s image as an investment destination.

Enrile was particular about the constitutional prohibition on foreigners owning majority control of local businesses and acquiring land.

“This should be revisited. We must give foreigners some liberties to draw more investments and develop lands for facilities to increase productivity,” he said.

“I doubt it’s patriotic to deny foreigners to own land here in the country when so many lands are idle. If they invest in these lands and make them productive, they cannot take these back home with them.” Rey T. Salita and Maricel Cruz
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