Senate starts regional consultations on RBH 6

Posted on: Fri, 05/17/2024 - 06:45 By: admin
Senate starts regional consultations on RBH 6

Baguio City is the first leg of the regional consultations the Senate subcommittee on constitutional amendments and revision of codes is holding for the proposed amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

A total of five public hearings have been held by the subcommittee on the Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 (RBH No. 6) that seeks to relax the foreign equity restrictions on public utilities, higher education and the advertising sector.

Filed by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda and Senator Sonny Angara, RBH No. 6 proposes to amend Section 11, Article XII (National Patrimony and Economy); Paragraph 2, Section 4 of Article XIV (Education, Science and Technology, Arts, Culture and Sports); and Paragraph 2, Section 11 of Article XVI (General Provisions) by inserting the phrase “Unless otherwise provided by law.”

The initial hearings of the subcommittee saw the attendance of the framers of the 1987 Constitution who gave their opinions for and against the proposed amendments.

Subsequent hearings tackled the specific sectors of public utilities, higher education and advertising, where the stakeholders and affected parties shared their insights on opening up their industries to foreign investors.

“We had very fruitful hearings that provided us valuable insights from the framers of the Constitution on what was intended in the imposition of the restrictions on foreign equity on the three sectors. The sentiments of the stakeholders of the affected sectors also allowed us to gauge the temperature to the proposed economic charter change,” said Angara, who is the chairperson of the subcommittee hearing RBH No. 6.

The committee will now take RBH No. 6 outside of Metro Manila to representative cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. 

For the Luzon leg, Baguio City will serve as host for the first regional consultation to be held at the Lafaayette Luxury Suites on Friday, May 17, 2024.

Expected to attend the Baguio consultation are Zubiri, Legarda, Angara, Bong Go and Ronald Dela Rosa.

This will be followed by back-to-back legs in Cebu City for the Visayas region and Cagayan de Oro for the Mindanao region.

The Cebu consultation will be held at the Waterfront Cebu City on March 23, 2024, while the Xavier Sports and Country Club will serve as the venue for the Mindanao leg on March 24, 2024.

“Now we will listen to the opinions of the local leaders, business sector, higher educational institutions in the three regions and also provide them with a clearer picture of what the entire exercise is all about. All of these inputs will be taken into account once we conclude our hearings and start working on the committee report,” Angara said.