Philippines Considers Constitutional Amendments to Ease Economic Restrictions

Philippines Considers Constitutional Amendments to Ease Economic Restrictions

Philippine lawmakers are deliberating potential amendments to the Constitution to ease restrictions on economic ownership.

“We want to lift the restrictive provisions vis a vis the economy,” House Speaker Martin Romualdez said in an economic briefing.

Congressional leaders from major political parties convened on December 11 to address procedural challenges that have impeded previous attempts to amend the Philippines’ 1987 constitution. The proposed amendments aim to grant lawmakers the authority to regulate economic sectors, providing flexibility for increased foreign investment.

Foreign business chambers have long advocated for the revision of current restrictions, particularly the 60-40 rule, limiting foreign ownership in local enterprises to 40%. The anticipated changes could pave the way for a more open investment environment.

Despite past unsuccessful endeavors to amend the constitution, Speaker Romualdez expressed determination in facilitating the process. However, critics have voiced concerns, suggesting that constitutional amendments might inadvertently lead to the lifting of term limits for elected officials.

As discussions unfold, the focus remains on striking a balance between fostering foreign investment and addressing potential pitfalls associated with constitutional modifications.