6 in 10 Filipinos unaware of Cha-cha move

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MAJORITY of Filipinos are not aware that a close ally of President Benigno Aquino III is bullish on introducing changes to the economic provisions of the Constitution, a survey released on Wednesday by Pulse Asia showed.

In a survey conducted March 19 to 26, Pulse Asia said 61 percent of 1,200 respondents have not heard, read or watched anything about the resolution of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.

Thirty-nine percent expressed awareness of the resolution, of which 44 percent agree with it, 36 percent are undecided and 19 percent are opposed.

Across geographic areas, it is only in Metro Manila where a majority of agreement may be noted (58 percent) while almost the same percentage of Mindanaoans are either opposed to Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 or undecided on the matter (35 percent vs 37 percent).

The survey has a ± 3 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.

If Belmonte’s resolution is passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Congress can make laws that will remove restrictions on foreigners or foreign companies in the Philippines to own land or put up businesses like media, advertising and education, which are currently reserved for locals.

In a statement, militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said that allowing 100 percent foreign ownership of lands, utilities, services and businesses in the country would only worsen unemployment, poverty and hunger among workers.

Specifically, KMU said removing the protectionist policy may result in lower wages, destruction of small local industries that would result in massive lay-offs and unemployment, unabated increase in prices of goods and rates of basic public services, massive demolition of workers’ and urban poor communities to give way to foreign businesses and infrastructure projects and destruction of the environment by foreign large scale mining and logging companies.

Belmonte's resolution was approved by the House committee on constitutional amendments in early March even as Aquino stated on record that he is not yet ready to make changes to the Constitution ratified under the presidency of his mother, the late Corazon Aquino. (Sunnex)

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