THE new president of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said he supports the government’s plan to amend the ownership, caps and industry restrictions in the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.
On the sidelines of the MAP Inaugural Meeting at Shangri-La the Fort, newly inducted MAP President Rene D. Almendras said that the changes in the economic provisions of the Constitution will help attract foreign investment to the Philippines.
“We have spoken in the past that we are supporting the changes which are economic in nature. Because we think that can make a difference as far as attracting foreign investors into the country,” Mr. Almendras told reporters on Thursday.
Asked for the official MAP position on Senate proposals to amend the Constitution, he said that the organization has yet to come out with its position.
However, he said MAP members are pleased with the focus of pro-amendment advocates to the economic provisions.
“We are glad that they are focusing on that (but) I cannot say whether we are fully supportive of the Senate version, because to be honest, we don’t know what that is. But if it is along the lines of economic reform, we are for it,” he added.
Both the House of Representatives and Senate are pursuing amendments to alleviate economic challenges.
Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri recently filed Senate Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, which seeks to amend Articles XII, XIV and XVI of the Constitution.
The resolution proposes to insert the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” to the Constitution’s articles on the operation of public utilities, basic educational institutions and advertising industry, opening the door for restrictions to be tweaked by legislative action.
Meanwhile, Mr. Almendras said that the economic provisions should focus on amending the curbs on ownership, caps and industry restrictions in order to make the Philippines more competitive.
“Competitiveness needs to be addressed because to stay as we are, business as usual, is going to be a real mistake. Every economy in the world is already pushing to be competitive. If we don’t do anything we are going to be left behind,” he said.
In his speech, Mr. Almendras said that MAP will pursue competitiveness as one of its five priorities in 2024.
“Recent economic realities, together with globalization, highlight the need to enhance our competitiveness, as all the other economies are so doing,” he said.
“To help improve the global competitiveness of the Philippines, we will push for vital policy reforms, through executive or legislative action, that will eliminate corruption, improve the ease of doing business, ensure food security through agricultural productivity, and sustain an enabling business environment for local and foreign investors,” he added.
He said such a focus will attract greater and more diverse job-creating investments. — Justine Irish D. Tabile