American Chamber lauds amended PSA enactment

The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) has lauded the enactment into law of a measure amending the 85-year-old Public Service Act (PSA), which is expected to be a “game-changing” law for the country’s investment horizon.

In a statement Monday evening, AmCham said the amendments to the PSA will match the investment policies of Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam amid the strong competition to attract foreign investments in the region.

On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act 11659 that allows 100 percent foreign ownership of public services, including telecommunications, railways, airports, and shipping sectors.

With the signing into law of a measure amending the PSA, the Duterte administration delivered its promise to enact three key economic bills — PSA, Foreign Investment Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act  — that aim to sustain the economic and jobs recovery in the country.

“(These laws) will significantly help the Philippines compete with its regional neighbors in bringing investments to the Philippines. It will be also extremely helpful to the long-run recovery of the economy after the pandemic,” AmCham said.

The newly enacted law also aims to further increase foreign investments in the country.

In 2021, despite limits in foreign ownership here, the Philippines registered its highest foreign direct investments (FDI) net inflows worth USD10.5 billion.

Bulk of the capital placements were in the sectors of manufacturing; electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning; financial and insurance; and real estate.