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Senators move anew to lift restrictions on foreign participation in public utilities

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Measures amending the 82-year-old Commonwealth Act No. 146, or Public Service Act (PSA), to remove foreign ownership limits on sectors engaged in public services have been filed anew in the Senate.

Four bills have so far been filed in the chamber by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, as well as Senators Grace S. Poe and Francis N. Pangilinan.

The proposed New Public Service Law of the Philippines almost made it out of the 17th Congress after hurdling the House of Representatives on September 2017 but failed to get third-reading approval in the Senate ahead of the June 3 adjournment.

Mr. Zubiri said the measure has a chance of making it out of the 18th Congress, provided the bill will put in place safeguards while opening up to foreign investments.

“We’re looking at amending the Public Service Act by removing these industries as a public utility; however, it still has to go to Congress for congressional approval of franchise,” Mr. Zubiri said in a July 31 interview.

“There’s a likelihood that we’ll pass it, but it needs all these safeguards.”

He explained that congressional approval will authorize the government to revoke the franchise in a national emergency.

“’Yung Public Service Act, we want to remove telecommunications, transportation,” Mr. Zubiri said.

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/money/topstories/senators-move-anew-to-lift-restrictions-on-foreign-participation-in-public-utilities/ar-AAFHHB2?ocid=spartandhp

 

 

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