BusinessMirror

DOA: Drilon says Cha-cha under Duterte is doomed

- BY BUTCH FERNANDEZ @butchfbm

THE revived Charter-change (Cha-cha) scheme under the Duterte administra­tion, billed to tinker with its economic provisions purportedl­y to lure foreign investors, has been pronounced declared “dead on arrival,” or DOA, according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon.

Drilon predicted Wednesday that DOA would be the same fate that awaits any move to revive the Chacha scheme amid lingering suspicion it could also be a ruse to tinker with provisions on existing term limits affecting incumbent officials barred from reelection.

Drilon affirmed that no senator is likely to “do the Cha-cha,” indicating the certain fate of any fresh move to revive it will not prosper given the early consensus.

Most senators had stressed earlier that if a Charter-change were intended to make the economy more competitiv­e and draw in investment­s, then that goal can very well be achieved by the so-called liberaliza­tion trio of reforms pending in the chamber—amendments to the Public Service Act, Foreign Investment­s Act and the Retail Trade Liberaliza­tion law. Duterte repeated his support for these in his last Sona.

Saying that Cha-cha could be likened to a “virus” that keeps on reviving, Drilon said Charter revision is not in the Senate agenda.

As proof, Drilon added that in the recent senators’ caucus to finalize the Senate legislativ­e agenda, “not one senator” was pushing the Chartercha­nge scheme.

He also noted that even in the “two hours and forty-five-minute State-of-the-nation Address” (Sona) of President Duterte last Monday before the joint session of Congress, the President did not even “mention Cha-cha even for only one minute.”

To him, Drilon suggested it should be read as “a clear signal the President was not keen to dance the Cha-cha.”

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