The Problem with Legislation in the Philippines
…its corruption and abuse
By Apolinario Villalobos
There is a move by Philippine Congress to amend a particular section of Constitution to accommodate the administration’s effort to entice foreign investors by liberalizing the provisions regarding this issue. The assurance of the Congress is that nothing else shall be touched, except the insertion of the “unless, otherwise, provided by law…” which is self-explanatory. However, those four innocent and simply – spelled words could create disaster if triggered by another simple word – abuse. A dangerous scenario is that of future legislators coming up with laws that will favor foreign investors in exchange for favors. Future lawmakers will no longer be interested in pork barrels which are theoretically- scrapped, but in commissions from foreign investors favored by the law that they shall pass.
The Filipinos cannot be blamed for their distrust in Congress which ever since has been perceived as corrupt. There is now an apprehension that even liberal provisions that shall favor the establishment of Bangsamoro shall be inserted in the Constitution because of the four words. What will stop the corrupt lawmakers to make laws that shall be justified by such phrase?
The Filipinos are already suffering from the effect of laws that altered the economic system of the country. Foremost of these are those that privatized the basic service providers and deregulated the oil industry. It should be noted that even without the proposed change in the Constitution, somehow, existing laws as regards investment in the country are being circumvented to favor foreign parties with the use of Filipino dummies…so, why alter the Basic Law of the land, an act which clearly, shall cause an uncontrolled avalanche of corruption?
Not a single case on corruption and plunder has ever been closed under the Aquino administration. Practically, cases were exposed by the so-called “concerned” legislators, but obviously, their objective is just to earn media mileage. As if the plunder of the government coffer is not enough, now they want to distort the very Basic Law that serves as the sinews and essence of the Filipinos’ existence. Where has the common sense of the legislators gone?…or do they have such simple sense at all?