Philippines' Marcos says constitution should be changed to fit 'globalised world'

Philippines' Marcos says constitution should be changed to fit 'globalised world'
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr gestures as he delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), at the House of Representative in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 24, 2023.
PHOTO: Reuters file

MANILA — Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said the country's constitution should be changed to support the economy and was "not written for the globalised world", as the country's senate criticised efforts to amend it as "sinister and underhand".

Marcos, in an interview with GMA News TV aired on Tuesday (Jan 23), said the economic provisions of the 1987 constitution, introduced after the overthrow of his father and namesake after two decades in power, must be changed to attract more foreign investors.

While he was not closing doors to amending political provisions, Marcos said the priority should be economic parts of the constitution to ease curbs and lure foreign businesses.

Certain provisions, such as limits on ownership by foreign firms, have been criticised by some international businesses as protectionist and favouring local conglomerates.

However, some opponents of constitutional change say it is driven by an agenda to change the political system and remove term limits, including that of the president, who can currently serve just one, six-year term.

On Tuesday, the Senate in a manifesto signed by all of its 24 members, including the sister of Marcos, condemned what it described as "sinister and underhanded attempt" to change the constitution without the senate's participation and vowed to thwart it.

"Throughout Philippine history, the Senate has always been one of the first targets by those who seek to undermine our country's democracy," it said.

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