The Ateneo Economics Association on HR 1109
House Resolution 1109 (HR1109) calls upon the members of congress to convene for the purpose of considering proposals to amend the constitution. The Ateneo Economics Association (AEA) stands firmly on the side of public interest and strongly condemns the brazen manner in which the House of Representatives forcefully pushed for the convening of a Constituent Assembly aimed at revising the constitution. The Ateneo Economics Association (AEA) believes that amending the constitution, particularly the provisions for House Resolution 737 on specific economic amendments is an essential movement towards a more effective and efficient system of trade and government, but that the hasty passage of HR1109 threatens not only the economic, but also the present socio-political dynamics of the country. The Ateneo Economics Association bases its decision on the following grounds:
1. The untimely passage of HR 1109 is not in the best interest of the country and its people. While an inquiry into the workings of amending the constitution may be beneficial in the near future, more urgent bills pending in the House of Representatives are being set aside for HR 1109.
2. In the face of the Global Economic Crisis, the legislative body of the Philippine Government must focus its attention, resources and energy in a long term effort to alleviate poverty, raise the standards of living of the urban-poor, generate sustainable employment and support small-medium enterprises (SMEs).
3. The objectives of passing HR1109 remain clouded in controversy. While proponents of the HR1109 have stressed repeatedly that no extensions will be made to the terms of office, particularly to the President of the Philippines, the manner in which the resolution was passed and the evident use of numbers present a certain scenario worthy of the public’s vigilance.
4. The railroading of HR1109 is considered “baseless” by many and has sparked several heated debates both in the plenary and on the streets plunging the nation in a state of suspended confusion. It is the duty of Congress to serve the public through meaningful and effective legislation, free from vested interests and personal biases. While public opinion is never a basis for passing resolutions, public interest is.
5. Political inefficiency translates into economic instability. Political turmoil, disagreements in Congress and anti charter-change protests scare away foreign investors, international trade agreements and local entrepreneurs damaging the already fragile state of the economy.