Transcript of Sen. Bam Aquino’s Interview at Kapihan sa Diamond Hotel

On Constitutional Change/Entry on Foreign Ownership on Businesses

A. To be frank, I don’t think we need to change the Constitution. We can actually get the investments even without changing the Constitution. Changing the Constitution is too large an endeavor to do in 2014 right before 2016.

That will probably mean the next president will be the one tackling changes to the Constitution. Alam ko po si Speaker Belmonte is very adamant about it but in the Senate, there’s really not much movement in terms of any constitutional changes.

I don’t think we’ll have that in the next two to three years. Probably the next president will undergo that if that’s the priority of the next president.

In the meantime, if you’re waiting for that before you move, it’s a moving target. We really have to do the reforms that can be done currently within our constitution.

Get the investments in.  In other countries, they have even stricter but they were able to get the investments.

It’s a matter of balancing your incentives, the investments you want to get in the country in the next two to three years.


On government Relying Too Much on OFWs Remittances

A. Remittances are big part of our economy and in fact, malaking bagay po siya. We have to thank our OFWs for that.

But the drive to go from consumption to production goes through increasing jobs and supporting enterprise kaya iyon po ang aking pinaka-focus. Kailangan po ng mas may production dito.

That’s why DTI is moving to revitalize our manufacturing sector.

Ang ating BPO industry is trying to go beyond voice and go into other services that it can provide. Definitely, there is a push for jobs and enterprise here and that will actually balance our dependency on remittances.

If you look at our portfolio and the things that we have pushed for, our Microfinance bill, our Go Negosyo bill, our Youth Entrepreneurship bill, lahat ng mga tinutulak natin, it all leads to that.

To try to have a stronger economy here that is more equitable, recognizing our growth and at the same time, making sure this growth reaches the poorest Filipinos.


On Controversies Hounding Senate

A. Well ang trabaho ng senador o kongresista ay gumawa ng polisiya at batas para sa kapakanan ng sambayanang Pilipino.

Without PDAF, it really forces you to focus on legislative work. Iyan na ang nagiging focus namin but then again, just because wala ka nang PDAF, it doesn’t mean you cannot engage in programs.

May nagtanong sa akin noon, Senator, paano po ba ibabalik ang tiwala sa Senado ngayong bagsak na bagsak ang tiwala sa inyo?

No amount of words will get the people’s trust back.  It’s really your output and your work. Kapag nakikita na nagtatrabaho ka para sa kapakanan ng tao, maybe at some point babalik ang tiwala nila sa iyo.

We just committed to work hard and make sure na ang mga naipangako natin noong campaign ay gagawin natin.


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