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The natioal democratic grass-roots alliance, Bagong Alyansang Makabyan, has criticized the US-PH Society’s push to alter the 1987 Philippine constitution for purely economic gains and neoliberalization policies:
Multisectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) hit the renewed push to further liberalize the domestic economy by changing the 1987 Philippine Constitution. The issue was raised after the US-Philippine Society (USPS) with a delegation of executives from several top American corporations brought up their concerns on foreign ownership limits in the country during a meeting with President Benigno S. Aquino III.
In a media briefing, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia Jr. said that the American delegation raised their concern on foreign ownership limits especially in terms of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. The American investors, Cuisia said, asked government to considering revising the Constitution particularly its economic provisions. The Constitutional restrictions have been viewed as a barrier to the Philippines’ joining the TPP.
“The lobbying of the USPS and American businessmen to revive Cha-cha (Charter change) smacks of direct foreign intervention in our internal policy making. Their push to further open up our economy to foreign investments by revising the Constitution and becoming a part of the TPP free trade deal is a guaranteed recipe for further economic plunder and degradation. They want to hand over the Philippines on a silver platter to foreign big business,” said Bayan’s secretary-general Renato Reyes, Jr.
The multisectoral alliance also warned the public of yet another aggressive campaign to push for Cha-cha after the midterm elections due to the USPS lobby. Congress leaders have already announced their intention to revive Cha-cha after the May polls specifically to revise the Constitution’s economic provisions. Meanwhile, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center, which is the main agency tasked to oversee the Aquino administration’s centerpiece economic program, has also asked economic managers to review constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership in PPP projects. The move is seen as creating more opportunities for foreign investors in the PPP initiative of the administration.
“We should oppose these fresh attempts to implement Cha-cha. The Philippines is not for sale. Our patrimony is not for sale to private business and foreign interests,” said Reyes.