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  • House to fasttrack economic Cha-cha                       The House of Representatives is expected to speed up approval of a resolution seeking to amend restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution to insulate it from attempts to extend the term of President Aquino. A senior administration lawmaker, who is also a proponent of economic Charter change (Cha-cha), said he got word from the House leadership that plenary discussions on Resolution of Both Houses 1 (RBH 1) will resume soon. RBH 1 seeks to ease restrictions on some provisions of Articles XII (National Economy and Patrimony), XIV (Education, Science and Technology, Arts, Culture and Sports) and XVI (General Provisions) of the Constitution. It has a counterpart measure in the Senate authored by Sen. Ralph Recto. The resolution, of which Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. is among the authors, also seeks to insert the phrase “unless otherwise provided by law” to the selected provisions, which means the restrictions on foreign ownership will remain until Congress passes a measure removing them.
  • Economy to grow faster in 2Q                                        The country likely expanded at a faster pace in the 2nd quarter with gross domestic product seen returning to the 7% growth pace, driven by gains in manufacturing. Gil Beltran, Finance Undersecretary and the country’s chief economist, said the rise in manufacturing growth to 13% from April to June “foreshadows a possible return to seven percent real growth in the 2nd quarter.” Mr. Beltran said this implies that the sector added 1.4 to 2% to real GDP growth in the 2nd quarter. Manufacturing output, measured through the volume of production index,  climbed in June with the printing sector leading the growth (153.8%). Other sectors that grew double digits were leather products (40.5%), fabricated metal products (39.8%), machinery except electrical (26.7%), basic metals (24.4%), transport equipment (19.8%), textiles (15.4%) and food manufacturing (13.1%).

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