Duterte OKs amendments in Foreign Investments Act

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2022 01:13 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the law that aims to promote "productive investments" from foreigners and other countries that would help boost the country's economic growth, documents showed Friday. 

Republic Act No. 11647, which amends RA 7042 or the Foreign Investments Act of 1991, is seen improving technology transfer, raising foreign exchange from exports and leading to higher tax revenues.

The amendment also establishes the Inter-agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee (IIPCC) headed by the Department of Trade and Industry. 

The law, approved on Wednesday, stated that the body will promote and facilitate efforts to encourage foreign investments. 

IIPCC was also tasked to create a strategy or campaign that would "promote the country as a desirable investment area." 

Foreigners, "without need of prior approval," can now also invest in a domestic enterprise up to 100 percent of its capital "unless participation of non-Philippine nationals... is prohibited or limited to a smaller percentage" by existing laws, it read.

Foreigners may also own small and medium-sized enterprises with a minimum paid-up capital of less than $100,000 if majority of their direct employees are Filipinos. The number of Filipino employees should not also be less than 15. 

"The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or DTI... shall not impose any limitations on the extent of foreign ownership in an enterprise additional to those provided by this Act," the law read. 

The law also noted that a foreigner who will also be involved in an existing joint venture, where he or his majority shareholder is a substantial partner, must disclose the names and addresses of the partners during their registration with the SEC.

Foreign investments in export enterprises are also now allowed up to a hundred percent, according to the amendment. 

Export businesses though should register and comply with the National Internal Revenue Code for the purpose of availing any tax benefits or incentives. 

Duterte, during his last State of the Nation Address, called on lawmakers to pass three priority bills meant to attract more foreign investments into the country.

These were the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade and Liberalization Act. 

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