Malacañang orders easing, lifting of foreign investment restrictions in 8 areas
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has ordered the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and other agencies to "lift or ease" restrictions on foreign participation in certain areas of investment.
Memorandum Order No 16 listed 8 areas or activities where foreign investment should be welcomed through the lifting or easing of restrictions.
These areas are:
- Private recruitment, whether for local or overseas employment
- Practice of particular professions, where allowing foreign participation will redound to public benefit
- Contracts for the construction and repair of locally-funded public works
- Public services, except activities and systems that are recognized as public utilities such as transmission and distribution of electricity, water pipeline distribution system, and sewerage pipeline system
- Culture, production, milling, processing, and trading except retailing, of rice and corn and acquiring by barter, purchase or otherwise, rice and corn and the by-products thereof
- Teaching at higher education levels
- Retail trade enterprises
- Domestic market enterprises
Malacañang also instructed the NEDA Board to support all efforts in Congress to eliminate or relax restrictions, specifically “legislation seeking to clarify the definition of public utilities.”
The NEDA Board is asked to advise President Rodrigo Duterte on restrictions on foreign participation which can already be lifted or eased without legislation. This could be done by amending the Tenth Regular Foreign Investment Negative List under Executive Order No 184 (s. 2015), signed by then President Benigno Aquino III.
This negative list is a list of investment areas or activities reserved for Filipinos. The level of foreigners' participation in these investment areas must be limited to the foreign equity percentages in the list.
Sectors where no foreign participation is allowed, according to the list, include small-scale mining, private security agencies, mass media, and utilization of marine resources.
Malacañang issued Memorandum No 16 after President Rodrigo Duterte offered to China the chance for one of its companies to be the 3rd telecommunications player in the Philippines.
Duterte has long expressed a desire to open up key sectors to foreign investment to encourage competition and give Filipino consumers more choices. – Rappler.com