The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to expedite companies involved in foreign ownership cases after passing three laws liberalizing foreign participation in various industries.
“With the signing of amendments to the Foreign Investment Act (FIA), the Public Service Act (PSA) and the Retail Trade Liberation Act (RTLA), regulators can now resolve pending cases quickly, a step that will help the Philippines accelerate its recovery from the epidemic.” Former SEC Secretary Gerard M Lukban said in a statement.
“Establishing these game-changing reforms is a step in the right direction. Now more than ever, it is imperative to further liberalize the Philippine economy and open the door to foreign investment to encourage economic growth amid the long-term effects of the Covid-19 epidemic, “he added.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte recently signed into law a three-step law designed to make the economy more open to foreign investors.
Republic Act (RA) No. 11647, which amended the Foreign Investment Act of 1991, simplifies foreign ownership rules for most retail companies, except for micro and small market enterprises with paid-up capital up to $ 200,000.
RA No. 11595, which amended the Retail Trade Liberation Act of 2000, reduced the minimum paid-up capital for foreign retailers to P25 million and the minimum investment requirement per store to P10 million.
In March, Mr Duterte signed the Republic Act (RA) No. 11659, which amended the Public Service Act to allow 100% foreign ownership in many industries, with major exceptions being companies engaged in the operation and distribution of electricity, water pipelines and sewerage. Companies, seaports, petroleum pipelines, and public utility vehicles.
Banco Central NG Philippines (BSP) estimates that the Philippines will have a record foreign direct investment (FDI) of 10. 10.3 billion in 2021.
Through the amendment, Mr Lukban said he hoped FDI would increase, helping the Philippines recover from the epidemic.
He added that the favorable resolution of pending cases would complement the amended law and further strengthen the image of the Philippines as a new investment destination.
“Foreign investors have previously been warned (about entry) into the Philippines because of old and outdated laws, which made it difficult for us to attract large investments. The speedy resolution of pending cases will show our investors that the Philippines is now a haven for foreign investment, “said Mr Lukban.
“Allowing more players in our country to start their businesses, as evidenced by the record-breaking improvement in investor sentiment, could help us recover economically. Implementing simple restrictions on foreign entrants will lead to more job creation and unlock more opportunities, ultimately leading to higher incomes and the ability to support families, ”he added. – Luisa Maria Jacinta c. Jackson