Cha-Cha Proposal to Legalize Foreign Plunder of Philippines’ Resources


The proposed amendment in the Constitution seeking to allow the foreign corporations to own land will legitimize the all-out and ongoing exploitation and plunder by foreign corporations of the country’s natural resources.

BY IBON FOUNDATION
Posted by Bulatlat

The proposed amendment in the Constitution seeking to allow the foreign corporations to own land will legitimize the all-out and ongoing exploitation and plunder by foreign corporations of the country’s natural resources.

Among the various amendments that Charter change (Cha-cha) proponents are pushing for is the removal of so-called restrictive provisions in the constitution, including the proposal to dismantle the 40-percent foreign ownership restriction of public lands.

This proposal aims to amend Art. XII, Secs. 2 and 3 which say that the state should fully control public land and natural resources and may enter into production sharing agreements as long as Filipinos own 60 percent of the capital.

As it is, this constitutional provision has not effectively restricted full foreign control over the Philippines’ strategic natural resources like minerals and petroleum. For example, mining agreements as of January 2008 have reached a total of 294, covering approximately 600,000 hectares of highly mineralized lands around the country.

Another case is the Malampaya oil field, which is under a service contract with oil giants Shell and Chevron. Instead of Filipinos benefiting from its crude reserves, Malampaya has been exporting billions of dollars worth of crude oil since 2001, bringing immense profits for these giant oil firms.

This provision in the Constitution is important since it protects the state from entering into arrangements that would allow the abuse of resources by foreign corporations. Amending this provision and dismantling the restriction of foreign ownership of lands will only worsen the foreign plunder of our national resources and further undermine national interest.

Land, as well as our other natural resources, plays a strategic role in national economic development, environment, and way of life – and these resources should be effectively controlled by the state. Ultimately, the country’s economic sovereignty and potential for industrialization are at stake with Cha-cha. Posted byBulatlat.com

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