July 27, 2021

The government remains committed to pursuing long-standing structural reforms for the country’s recovery from COVID-19 pandemic and continuing socioeconomic development, said the National Economic and Development Authority.

In his 6th State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Roa Duterte named the amendments to the Public Service Act, the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and the Foreign Investment Act as among the priority legislations for the final year of his administration.

These bills seek to relax restrictions on foreign investments, which will help generate more jobs and accelerate our economic recovery.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua affirmed this in an interview following the President’s SONA on July 26, 2021.

“The Philippines has a very good labor [force]. With these reforms, we can benefit from world class capital, technology, and innovation. The amendments to the Public Service Act will usher in a possibility that we have far better options for telecommunications and transportation. These two are very important to the lives of the ordinary people,” said Chua.

Meanwhile, the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act will lower the requirements for foreign participation in the retail sector to facilitate greater competition, lower prices, and higher quality of goods to Filipino consumers.

Chua also highlighted the importance of the amendments to the Foreign Investment Act to also attract more foreign direct investments.

All three bills complement the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act which brings our corporate tax rate closer to our ASEAN peers and enhances our fiscal incentives system to attract more foreign direct investments.

In his SONA, President Duterte emphasized that “Our economy, with investor confidence, was poised to leapfrog into the company of the world’s fastest growing economies until the COVID-19 pandemic stalled everything.”

To get the country back to the pre-pandemic levels by next year, Chua underscored the government’s three pillar recovery strategy: i) safe reopening of the economy while managing the risks, ii) full implementation of the recovery package, and iii) timely implementation of the vaccine program.

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