The Philippines is undergoing a process of Charter change. A Constitutional Commission was convened and their proposed revisions have been submitted to the President. Many changes are suggested, including federalization, and a shift to a unicameral parliament. Here I will limit myself with the repeal of current Constitutional limits on foreign ownership of natural resources
Objectors claim that evil foreign corporations will exhaust the mineral and other resurces of the country for profit, and leave the country poorer than ever.
Let's think about this: Suppose a local company does the extraction for profit. Would it be any better? Profiteering is profiteering - you need government to make sure that the private company does not abuse its privilege, foreign or local.
But I suppose what the naysayers really object to is any private company exploiting our natural resources. Foreign companies are just better at it, ratcheting up the fear factor. So they would rather have government get all the minerals and stuff out. Better, isn't it, cause then that's all revenues for the public welfare?
Really, some people need to go down from their left-leaving ivory tower, and get dirty in the real world. Plenty of investments up front are needed to get to all that precious stuff. One can easily make a mistake and dig up a dud. All that investment - using taxpayers money, if the government were to do it. Experience has shown that government is very very good at spending taxpayer's money, but very very bad at getting good returns from it.
So you're back to the private company. Now remember - the private company does not have the initial right to the resource - the State does. So the State strikes a deal with the company - give me your exploitation expertise, and here's a share for you as a payment for your investment and risk-taking. The exact terms and conditions will depend on a particular negotiation. So whether it's a foreign or local company the government is bargaining with, if it ends up with a bad deal, it only has itself to blame.
Nice thing about allowing foreigners is that the locals will have plenty of competition. Locals who would only offer a 70-30 sharing may have to soften up if an efficient foreign company comes around and offers 60-40.
The repeal makes perfect sense, whatever our gut reaction to foreigners "owning" the "national patrimony." As with the show, overcoming our gut reaction is necessary to win the prize.
(Download the Concom Report from this site).