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Fil-Canadian group hits PH move to allow foreign ownership of public services, renewable energy

Rowena Papasin | TFC News Vancouver

Posted at Sep 21 2023 12:26 PM

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A Filipino-Canadian group has expressed alarm over the lifting of restrictions on foreign ownership of public services and renewable energy sources in the Philippines.

During the economic team's briefing in Toronto, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said that foreigners can now own public utilities, such as telecommunication companies, expressways, shipping, and airports.

Migrante Canada slammed amendments to the Public Service Act, and warned that this would leave nothing for the future generation.

"What will be left to us, to our children, to the children of our children?" said Erie Maestro of the group. "It means the land, the seas, the wealth under the seas, the mountains, all of that will be opened."

Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, meanwhile, touted the controversial Maharlika Investment Fund as a source of further boosting economic development in the country.

Maestro urged Canadian investors to be vigilant amid fears that Philippine officials may dip their fingers into the wealth fund.

"I think they should be aware that the Maharlika Investment Fund is coming from a government that has been proven to be corrupt," he said. "This is not an ethical investment, however way you look at it."

Supreme Court asked to declare Maharlika fund unconstitutional

Critics of the Maharlika Investment Fund have filed a petition before the Philippine Supreme Court, asking to declare as unconstitutional the law that created it.