July 27, 2021

Chiefs of the NEDA and DTI applaud PRRD’s directive to approve economic reform legislation.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to lawmakers to adopt legislation that would further open the economy has been welcomed by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Both Chua and Lopez stressed the need of amending the Foreign Investments Act, the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and the Public Service Act in a post-State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) interview with PTV.

“It is critical that our business climate be welcoming to international investors in order to attract additional capital. Because more investments mean more employment for Filipinos,” Lopez said in a combination of English and Filipino.

Duterte urged Congress to approve the three economic reform legislation that was designated as urgent during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

“I’d like to reiterate my appeal for Congress to approve changes to key legislative measures including the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Service Act, and the Retail Liberalization Act as soon as possible,” he added.

The changes to the International Investments Act seek to provide greater equity to foreign investors who want to set up shop in the United States.

Lopez said, “All of these changes will eliminate or decrease foreign equity limitations.” “It will assist us in encouraging them to invest in the United States and create more jobs, which is critical for our economic recovery.”

Amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and the Public Service Act, according to Chua, would enable the nation to benefit from world-class finance, technology, and creativity.

“So the Public Service Act brings in the prospect of much better telecommunications and transportation choices. These two are very essential in people’s everyday lives,” the country’s chief economist said.

Meanwhile, the Retail Trade Liberalization Act would provide Filipinos additional choices in the retail sector, according to Chua.

“When you go to the mall, you have choices according to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act. If we have more free commerce in the retail sector, regular Filipinos would have more choices when they go shopping. When you have more choices, costs drop, and quality rises,” he said.

In a letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III in April, Duterte classified the three legislative proposals as urgent.

The legislation relating to economic change is also expected to be approved by October of this year.

“You guys need to improve on this. In your own small manner, I’m confident we can have a break from this contagion,” Duterte stated in his SONA.

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