NEDA hails enactment of amended Public Service Act

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has lauded the enactment of Republic Act No. 11659 or the amended Public Service Act (PSA), which President Duterte signed into law Monday.  

The new law effectively liberalizes key public services by allowing full foreign ownership in key sectors, while keeping public services under restriction from foreign intrusion. 

“We thank President Duterte and legislators from both chambers of Congress for their commitment to pass landmark legislation amid the challenges brought about by the pandemic. This reform will help bring in more foreign investments and improve services, especially in transport and telecommunications where we are lagging behind. This will benefit all Filipinos through better quality goods and services at lower prices and more meaningful job prospects,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said in a statement Tuesday.  

“We especially thank the chairpersons and principal authors Senator Grace Poe, Senator Franklin Drilon, and Representative Sharon Garin and Representative Joey Salceda, respectively, for their tireless efforts in shepherding the passage of this historic reform through the 18th Congress, as well as the House and Senate leaderships for their decisive action on all three of the economic liberalization measures,” he added.  

The amended PSA limits the coverage of public utilities to key sectors that will be subject to the 60-40 percent foreign equity limitation. 

These include power transmission and distribution, petroleum products pipeline transmission systems, water pipeline distribution systems, and wastewater pipeline systems, including sewerage pipeline systems, seaports, and public utility vehicles. 

Chua said the enactment of the amendments to the PSA completes the administration’s economic liberalization reforms to increase the country’s competitiveness and create more and better jobs.  

Other related laws including the Retail Trade Liberalization Act and the Foreign Investments Act were also signed on Dec. 10, 2021 and March 2, 2022, respectively. 

“The completion of the economic liberalization bills will revitalize our economy and encourage more investments and innovation as we continue to recover from the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. The measures will also strengthen our domestic economy against external shocks, such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis,” he added.