February 21, 2020

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Friday that the amendments to the Public Service Act of 1936, will significantly reduce equity restrictions in several service industries and encourage participation of foreign investors, thereby fostering more competition in the Philippine market.

“We expect this bill to improve the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination and make the Philippines one of the top choices of both domestic and foreign investors once it gets passed into a law,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

The proposed amendments to the law will remove ambiguity and uncertainty between what constitutes a ‘public service’ and provide clear economic bases for designating certain industries as ‘public utility’.

The Cabinet Official added that the measure will enable the government to respond to the economic needs of the people as it boosts competition that gives Filipino consumers more choices and better access to services at more reasonable rates.

“NEDA supports the passage of this legislative measure primarily because it complements the Philippine Competition Act that puts the rights of the Filipino consumers on top by promoting a competitive market for them,” Pernia said.

The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 cites the importance of amending the Public Service Act for its crucial role in expanding economic opportunities and increasing the competitiveness of the country. Moreover, the proposed amendments to the law has been one of the priority legislative measures of the economic team and certified as urgent by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.