On last SONA, Duterte calls for passage of bills to attract foreign investment


Posted at Jul 27 2021 12:51 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte called on lawmakers to pass three priority bills meant to attract more foreign investments into the country.

“I would like to renew my call to Congress to immediately pass the amendments of priority legislative measures such as the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade and Liberalization Act,” Duterte said during his last State of the Nation Address. 

The proposed amendments to the Foreign Investments Act aim to let foreigners own small and medium-sized enterprises with a minimum paid-up capital of less than $100,000 if it involves advanced technology, or it employs at least 15 direct employees. The bill is seen improving technology transfer, raising foreign exchange from exports and leading to higher tax revenues.

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The Public Services Act aims to limit the definition of utilities to the distribution and transmission of electricity, water and sewerage. Foreign businessmen say this will further open up the country’s telecommunications sector to non-Filipinos and improve telco services. 

The Retail Trade Liberalization Act meanwhile aims to open up the country’s retail sector by lowering the minimum paid-up capital for foreign retail investors. 

The Management Association of the Philippines said it welcomes Duterte’s backing for these measures which it said are “necessary laws to encourage investments and stimulate our battered economy.”