8 out 10 Filipinos do not want econ provisions of Charter be revised

Quezon City, March 31, 2009—More than 80 percent of the Philippine populace does not want the economic provisions of the current Constitution be revised.

This was the result of the latest IBON Foundation, Inc. survey, published earlier this month.

The survey was conducted on January 7-16 among 1,500 respondents across various sectors and regions nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.

Based on the survey, out of the 1,500 respondents, an astounding 87.7 percent said they do not favor reforms to the Constitutional provision prohibiting foreign ownership of land while 85.7 percent opposes the revisions allowing foreign ownership of utilities and natural resources extraction.

It was House Speaker Prospero C. Nograles who pushes hard for the amendments to the economic provision of the 1987 Philippine Charter and had filed House Resolution 737 in order to convene both houses of Congress into Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass). The said resolution was approved by pro-Charter Change (Cha-Cha) legislators last February.

On the other hand, the respondents also opposed other proposed amendments to the Charter. The IBON survey said, almost 58 percent of the respondents are not in favor of local government autonomy through a federal system, while 55 percent opposed the shift from presidential to parliamentary system.

When asked if they were in favor of removing the provision prohibiting foreign troops, 60.5 percent said “NO” and 67.7 percent said they are not in favor of removing the nuclear free provision in the Charter.

Earlier, Malacañang said Cha-Cha should be done after 2010 in order to water down the issue of having the term of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo extended. However, some Palace allies in the House of Representatives said, they will push hard, for the Cha-Cha is discussed on the opening of the Regular Session of the 14th Congress. (Noel Sales Barcelona)