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Economic charter not timely as PH battles pandemic - Leyco
Now is not the time to pursue changes in the 1987 Constitution, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila President Emmanuel Leyco said.
President Leyco, a capital market specialist, said improving the local business climate would be better for the economy rather than charter change, which seeks to relax foreign ownership limits and similar protectionist trade policies.
“I find it very dangerous... The Constitution is the platform where all our laws is based. If we do that, it will soften the platform and the foundation of our legal structure,” President Leyco said in an interview with One News.
A House of Representatives committee is discussing a resolution that seeks to amend the Constitution. It will serve as the basis to open up the economy to the full participation of foreign businesses and investors in power, telecommunications, mass media, and even education, among other industries. The discussions were revived as the country battles with the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly a year now.
President Leyco believes that local businessmen have what it takes to revive and drive economic growth, whether by itself or through partnerships and joint ventures with foreign partners.
“Can you own land, utilities, broadcast stations in China? You cannot even run Facebook or Messenger in China and yet, they have been growing in an impressive manner. We don’t need that charter change,” he added.
The Philippines has yet to significantly reduce the cost of doing business here, as power rates remain among the highest in Asia while logistics and mass transport infrastructure remain lacking. The country also remains a net importer of raw materials and finished goods, which would make it hard to entice global manufacturers even if more of them are allowed to set up shop here.
“It is not timely… Mukhang hindi bagay, hindi napapanahon at palagay ko rin naman, ang mga negosyante dito ay may kakayahan para itayo, itindig, at ibalik ang sigla ng ating ekonomiya,” President Leyco also said.
Watch the full interview here: