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Constitutional Amendments and the Philippine Economy: A Current Perspective

MANILA, Philippines — An economist has weighed in on the ongoing discussions about amending the 1987 Constitution, stating that while it may not be perfect, the current constitution recognized the necessity of active government intervention to reshape the economy and make it more industrialized, equitable, and sustainable.

Sonny Africa, the executive director of the think tank Ibon Foundation, emphasized that the “nationalism” embedded in the existing Constitution was precisely what the Philippine economy required during the rise of free-market globalization in the 1980s.

“The Charter call[ed] for a self-reliant and independent economy,” he shared with Rapport Philippines.

Africa elaborated on how this emphasis on self-reliance and independence could have effectively resisted the “reckless opening up to foreign trade and investment,” which has contributed to the decline of manufacturing to its smallest share in the economy in 75 years.

Current Economic Landscape:
Adding to the conversation, it is crucial to consider the Philippine economy’s situation for 2023. As the nation grapples with the challenges posed by the global economic landscape, there is a growing need to assess the impact of constitutional changes on the country’s economic trajectory.

While constitutional amendments may be seen as a potential tool for opening up the economy further, it is essential to navigate this path carefully, considering the delicate balance between globalization and the need for self-reliance. The Philippines’ economic resilience in the face of external pressures and the government’s role in shaping a robust, sustainable economy will be pivotal in determining the success of any proposed changes.

In conclusion, the ongoing discussions about constitutional amendments present an opportunity to reflect on the economic principles that have guided the Philippines for decades. Striking the right balance between openness to global markets and preserving national interests will be essential for ensuring a prosperous and resilient future for the country.

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