Charter change not in the best interest of the people

Recent initiatives to amend the 1987 Constitution through people’s initiative have rolled out but remain clouded with questionable and unethical conduct due to allegations that voters in the communities were

paid in exchange for signatures.

The government’s penchant to open up the nation’s resources and economy to big foreign capitalists poses a clear danger to our country’s sovereignty, people’s welfare, and national patrimony. The notion that our economic growth depends on further opening up the local economy to foreign capitalists is a myth. On the contrary, the opposite happened. When the country submitted to the line of globalization agenda—the economy had embraced liberalization, deregulation, and privatization. It only exposed our country to unfair competition between local and imported products.

Foreign investment is not always indicative of growth. Ibon Foundation said, “South Korea and Taiwan are the latest newly industrialized countries (NICs) to be elevated to developed country status. They did this during the 1970s and 1980s with less FDI [foreign direct investment] than the Philippines was getting today, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development database.”

While the Constitution is not perfect, it is dangerous to entrust Charter reform to the maneuverings of those surrendering our sovereignty in the guise of economic reforms. The recent hullabaloo over people’s initiative, allegedly bribing and beguiling the voters to sign, reveals that Charter change (Cha-cha) is not in the best interest of the people but will only benefit the powerful few. They are a bunch of opportunists who take advantage of the poor.

We were not born yesterday. Beyond the economic surrender to foreign capitalists, there is also the interest in perpetuating themselves in power. Once the Constitution has been opened for reform, other provisions like the political structure may also be affected. Cha-cha is about extending the power of ​those who​ already yield so much of it. It is about opening ​our economy and culture ​even wider to ​foreign rule. It is about diluting the people’s rights. Enough.

Norma P. Dollaga,

Kapatirang Simbahan Para sa Bayan,