Marcos Jr. administration

Marcos signs 2 pet bills – PPP code and Internet Transactions Act – into laws

Dwight de Leon

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Marcos signs 2 pet bills – PPP code and Internet Transactions Act – into laws

ISOLATION. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signs two of the administration's pet measures in Bahay Pangulo, while in isolation due to COVID-19 on December 5, 2023.

Presidential Communications Office

Marcos was supposed to lead the ceremonial signing of the measures in a Malacañang event with his allies, but his COVID-19 illness prompted him to just do it in his residence while in isolation

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed two priority bills into law on Tuesday, December 5, while in isolation due to his COVID-19 illness.

President Marcos said the measures – the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Code of the Philippines and the Internet Transactions Act of 2023 – “show the country’s commitment and readiness to accelerate its development and to embrace the digital economy.”

The two measures were specified by Marcos in his first State of the Nation Address in July 2022, less than a month after ascending to the presidency.

A ceremonial signing of the bills was supposed to be held in Malacañang on Tuesday, but his positive coronavirus test result prompted him to approve the measure while quarantining in his residence in Bahay Pangulo.

PPP code

Republic Act No. 11966 seeks to provide an updated framework for public-private partnership projects.

For years, the legislative bible for PPP projects has been the so-called Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law, but advocates for reform wanted clearer rules on solicited and unsolicited proposals, and more thorough guidelines on joint ventures among others.

The new law establishes clearer rules on collaborations between the government and private companies, in an attempt to bridge gaps in the infrastructure system.

It institutionalizes the PPP Center as well as the PPP Governing Board, which will be the policy-making body for PPP projects. The measure also allows local government units to enter into PPP projects as long as there is no national government undertaking.

PPP projects will be exempt from temporary restraining orders and preliminary mandatory injunction issued by courts except the Supreme Court, unless the matter is of extreme urgency involving a constitutional issue.

Internet Transactions Act

Republic Act No. 11967, meanwhile, seeks to establish a robust e-commerce environment in the Philippines through secure online platforms.

The law creates the E-Commerce Bureau under the Department of Trade Industry.

That bureau will be in charge of formulating policies, and ensuring that digital platforms and online merchants – whether Filipino or foreign – are registered with the bureau. – Rappler.com

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.