A LEADER of the House of Representatives called on senators on Wednesday to support the call of business groups for changes to the 1987 Constitution, citing necessary amendments in order to create more jobs.

“We can accelerate capital formation and hasten our economic growth for the benefit of our people if we can introduce constitutional reform,” House Senior Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio D. Gonzales, Jr. said in a statement.

Mr. Gonzales said amending the Charter would help in further decreasing the number of jobless Filipinos, which had already gone down to 1.83 million in November 2023 from 2.09 million in the previous month, according to the latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report.

“This means that there were an additional 260,000 of our labor force who got themselves employed in jobs created in the economy through investments. We could create more job and income opportunities for our people if we could attract more investments, especially funds from foreign investors,” he said.

Last year, the House passed Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, seeking to amend the Constitution through a constitutional convention. The measure only reached the Senate committee level, with many senators deeming the proposal unnecessary.

In December, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez revived proposal to amend the 1987 Constitution to ease economic restrictions.

Senator Robinhood C. Padilla, who heads the Senate constitutional amendments and revision of codes committee, said any calls to revise the Constitution should come from the public.

“We must discuss people’s initiative thoroughly. Such a power of the people should not be twisted by some politicians to suit their ambitions,” Mr. Padilla said in a statement.

Meanwhile, House Deputy Minority Leader and Party-list Rep. France L. Castro sounded the alarm over a particular television advertisement allegedly promoting Charter change.

“We are now mulling to file a House resolution to probe the funding used for the pro-Charter change ad now running on television,” she said in a statement.

For his part, Interior Secretary Benjamin D. Abalos, Jr. told DzBB radio that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is not participating in any signature campaign supporting Charter change.

Earlier, Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman said municipal mayors were allegedly asked to give P100 to every constituent who signs up a petition to amend the 1987 Charter through a people’s initiative. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz