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PIA Press Release
2006/10/12

Nat'l referendum, a way to settle Cha-Cha, says Davao dad

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (12 October) -- A national referendum is the only way to know whether Filipinos really want to change the country's current US-style presidential form of government to a parliamentary system, Davao City Councilor Emmanuel Galicia, concurrent Davao City Council majority floor leader said.

The reported six million signatures gathered by the proponents of the people's initiative constitute just the first step in determining the public pulse.

It is the people will that will have the ultimate say if they want to change the Charter and change the form of government, he said.

On the other hand, Sigaw ng Bayan spokesman Atty. Raul Lambino rejected claims made by some critics that the signatures in the petition for the people's initiative were fabricated.

These groups are deceiving the people by omitting the facts that would demolish their claim of fraud supposedly involving the people's initiative, said Atty. Lambino.

Once the shift to parliamentary system is accomplished, the interim parliament could start working on amendments that will open the country's inward-looking economy to overseas investments.

Lambino said there is a need to amend certain provisions of the 1987 Constitution that restrict the full industrialization of the Philippines by limiting the entry of foreign investments.

Despite our strong macro-economic fundamentals, as attested by foreign credit rating institutions, government cannot stimulate the economy to the point of creating the jobs we need to keep the unemployment rate down and significantly reduce it.

We are losing by default to the rest of Asia by not acting on Charter reforms, he said. The bulk of investments in Asia have been flowing into China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, leading to these nations' growth as economic powerhouses in the world's fastest-growing region, he said. (PIA-XI) [top]

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