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Tuesday, March 22, 2022, 11:34
Philippines allows foreigners to have full ownership of telcos
By Xinhua
Tuesday, March 22, 2022, 11:34 By Xinhua

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the annual state of the nation address at the House of Representatives in Manila on July 26, 2021. (JAM STA ROSA / POOL / AFP)

MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law that allows foreigners to possess full ownership of telecommunications, airlines, mass communications, expressways, tollways, among others.

The new law still prohibits majority foreign ownership on the distribution and transmission of electricity; petroleum and petroleum products, pipeline transmission systems; water pipeline distribution systems and wastewater pipeline systems, including sewerage pipeline systems; seaports; and public utility vehicles still classified as public utilities

On Monday night, Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11659 amending the decades-old Public Service Act (PSA) that reclassifies these economic sectors as public services, exempting them from the 40 percent ownership limit under the Constitution.

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Duterte said the amended PSA "will aid the Philippines in leading the path towards economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic."

"I believe that through this law, the easing out of foreign equity restrictions will attract more global investors, modernize several sectors of public service and improve the delivery of essential services," Duterte said in a speech during the signing ceremony.

He expected the enactment of the PSA, as well as the amended Foreign Investments Act to help stimulate the economy, especially for local businesses.

The new law still prohibits majority foreign ownership on the distribution and transmission of electricity; petroleum and petroleum products, pipeline transmission systems; water pipeline distribution systems and wastewater pipeline systems, including sewerage pipeline systems; seaports; and public utility vehicles still classified as public utilities.

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Duterte has earlier signed another act, amending the Foreign Investments Act to improve foreign investments in the country. The amended Foreign Investment Law is positioned to attract more foreign investments as it provides less stringent requirements for potential foreign investors to enter the Philippine market.


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