Why Should We Oppose Cha-Cha (Charter Change)

Last March 13, the Philippine Congress approved the constitutional convention bill or the House Bill 7352, providing for rules and regulations to introduce amendments to the 1987 Constitution. Also called constitutional reform, Charter Change (Cha-Cha) refers to amendments or revisions in the current Philippine Constitution, specifically to lift economic provisions that restrict foreign ownership in the country. Its objective to act as a medium to change economic provision will result in foreign entities expanding their ownership to an intrusive extent in the Philippines, hence a stagnation in developing our local industries. This also proposed to remove the protectionist provisions of the 1987 Constitution that will further trample the right of the Filipinos in land and natural resources.

In Myanmar and Thailand, where proposals to amend the constitution are often aimed at eroding the power of the military whereas, in the case of the Philippines, its 1987 Constitution was written after the 1986 People Power movement that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.

Cha-cha is instigated by politicians in power seeking to remove election term limits. This also removes the ceilings on foreign ownership regarding land and natural resources that significantly puts the environment, environmental defenders, and the Filipino people at a greater risk.

The proposed provision allows transnational corporations to own and control agricultural lands and lift the limits on foreign ownership of mining companies. This would greatly affect the production of food supply, and the environment, and reduce or remove the protection of the Filipino people against unfair competition from big foreign corporations.

Cha-cha is clearly an anti-Filipino provision that only benefits the big foreign corporations and their cronies. As climate justice activists, we strongly oppose this revision of the Constitution and stand with the masses and fight against anti-people policies. We call for pro-people and pro-planet changes, not charter change!


Published by yacaphilippines

Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines is an alliance of individuals, youth organizations, and student councils that advocate for immediate youth-led global climate action. The Fridays for Future of the Philippines.

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