Solon Urges House to Focus On The COVID-19 Vaccination Program Over Cha-Cha
Camarines Sur Representative LRay Villafuerte calls for the House of Representatives to prioritize the COVID-19 vaccination program over the committee’s move on amending the 1987 constitution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Villafuerte stated, “To increase vaccine acceptance, legislators should initiate or join information campaigns in their districts to persuade would-be vaccinees that the vaccines are safe, and are necessary to eventually contain the pandemic.”
Villafuerte expressed that “[the house should] do their part in assisting the Duterte administration in implementing its vaccination program, especially during a massive surge of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.”
He also noted that the House of Representatives Speaker Lord Allan Velasco should place the vaccine rollout as one of their highest priority concerns.
Villafuerte continued the Charter Change (Cha-Cha) initiative looks like a futile political exercise because Senate President Vicente Sotto III and other Senate leaders already said recently that constitutional reform is not their priority amid the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez stated that the lower legislative chamber could “finish the economic Cha-Cha this year.”
He added, “Since we will have a break next week on March 25, the deliberations will be continued when we resume sessions on May 17. Speaker Velasco is allowing all members to participate in the deliberations.”
The resolution containing the proposals would then be transmitted to the Senate. The proposed amendments, authored by Speaker Velasco, are contained in the Resolution of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The resolution seeks to empower Congress to change constitutional limitations on foreign participation in specific sectors of the economy like telecommunications, public utilities, media, advertising, and education, except land, which will continue to be only for Filipinos.
Rodriguez expressed, “The changing of those restrictions will hasten the country’s recovery from this crippling pandemic. It will help attract more foreign investments and provide more employment to our people who are the objectives of Speaker Velasco’s RBH-2.”