Charter change still being pushed in the Senate

This article is available in Pilipino

Various civic, progressive and patriotic organizations led by the Catholic church are set to launch a prayer rally against charter change on the last day of the regular Senate session on May 22. The diocese of Manila and other nearby churches, as well as some Catholic schools, will attend the rally. Churches will simultaneously ring their bells at 4 a.m. and there will be a gathering in front of the Senate from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Senate is set to deliberate Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 which would allow 100% foreign ownership of public utilities, educational institutions and advertising. Despite the people’s clear and vehement opposition, the Marcos regime’s henchmen are still pushing for the amendments dubbed as “economic cha-cha.” A similar proposal has been railroaded in the Lower House, led by House Speaker Martin Romualdez.

In the Senate, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri leads the push for charter change. He said, 95% of the senators are in favor of removing restrictions on economic provisions in the constitution. He even boasted that there are 15-16 senators who are in favor of the “economic cha-cha.” Only two more votes will be needed for it to pass the Upper House.

This arrogant insistence runs counter to the result of the first consultation conducted by senators in Baguio City on May 17. Here, local officials, along with university officials, expressed their opposition to the further opening of the economy, especially schools, to foreigners.

During the consultation, Pangasinan State University executive director Gudelia Samson called the opening of foreign universities as “treason.” She said it surrenders the education system to foreigners who are unaware of the history, as well as the crisis that is now happening in the sector. Academics fear that the amendment will result in the dismissal of teachers. The governor of Kalinga is also expressed his opposition.

The senators are set to consult with officials, businessmen and organizations in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro in the coming weeks.

The result of these consultations will be presented to the Senate when the session reopens after the President’s State of the Nation Address in July.

AB: Charter change still being pushed in the Senate