By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios
Just like what has been being aired by many foreign chambers and other local biz groups, the Public Service Act amendments will spur more investments to the country and help fast track that much needed economic rebound post-pandemic.
This is also articulated by the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI – AHK Philippinen), as they believe that the enactment of the Public Service Act can lead to vast amount of foreign business opportunities as soon as it is signed into law.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the measure proposing amendments to the Public Service Act. The bill is currently awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Aside from locally introducing international public service standards, we would also like to present sustainable business practices in the liberalized sectors.” Says GPCCI Executive Director Christopher Zimmer “We certainly welcome the positive developments as we look forward on the establishment of much-needed reforms to enable foreign investors to participate in critical and fundamental areas of local public services.”
The amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA) seek to ease or lift restrictions on foreign investments in Philippine public utilities by amending or repealing provisions that limit foreign participation in certain economic activities. The bill also seeks to distinguish between the definitions of “public utilities” and “public services.”
Moreover, the proposed law entails that any industry not classified under public services – such as air carriers, domestic shipping, expressways, railways, subways, and telecommunications – will be liberalized and/or be open to 100% foreign ownership.
“Companies not only from Germany, but also all over Europe, already see immense opportunities once this reform is signed into law.” Says GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz “Moreover, effectively utilizing the advantages from this major economic reform shall provide certainty among investors and shall also encourage job creation that would not only help stimulate the recovery of the Philippine economy but also exceed the growth rates of the country from pre-pandemic times.”