Foreign ownership of land, public utilities, and other vital industries would make these services more inaccessible to people.
Allowing foreigners to own our natural resources is akin to giving them permission for limitless exploitation of our national assets. We have already seen this with industries such as mining, whose products are exported immediately upon extraction. Public utilities, including power, transportation, communication, water, and others, are basic services that the government should provide. If a foreign corporation owns these utilities, we cannot expect them to provide the services that people need.
Relying on foreign corporations to stimulate our economy will stifle genuine national development.
Historical data shows that although relaxing foreign investor protections increases foreign direct investment, it does not translate into an increase in both manufacturing and agriculture – two industries that are necessary for an independent and self-reliant economy. Instead of attracting foreign investors, the government should support local industries whose backward linkages contribute to the national economy, from sourcing raw materials to producing consumer and industrial goods.
Without a pro-people constitution to serve as a foundation for our national laws, we will be vulnerable to more anti-people laws in the future.
The constitution serves as a safeguard in case lawmakers pass laws that do not serve the interests of the people. A recent example of this is the removal of unconstitutional provisions in the Anti-Terror Law. Although this strategy is not foolproof as courts have the liberty to interpret laws, completely diluting the constitution would be even worse.
Term extensions will allow politicians to use national funds to further extend their power and influence.
After the Marcos dictatorship, the Filipino people are already wary of politicians who seek unlimited power. Under the guise of revising economic provisions, charter change can be used by traditional politicians to ensure they stay in power. While they remain in office, they also have access to national funds that should be used to provide basic services to the people but are instead used for personal gain.
Amending the bill of rights disregards decades of people’s struggle for their rights.
In some versions of the proposed amendments to the constitution, the phrase “responsible exercise” is added to qualify the freedom of speech. This is dangerous because it places the state in a position of authority to define what is “responsible” and what is not. Under a repressive state, even rightful grievances and opposition can be labeled as not covered by the freedom of speech, limiting people’s ability to protest unjust policies and laws.