By Billy Begas
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Joey Salceda is confident that the enactment of the Civil Service Act amendment measure “will usher in a decade of unprecedented growth in foreign investment, as long as the next president can sustain reforms with the market. – favorable policies and actions.
Salceda said the measure, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 21, is “the most significant economic reform since the CREATE Act (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises)”.
He said the 2020s could turn out to be “the best decade for FDI in the country’s history, or at least our FDI breakout moment if the next president has his way.”
“That’s why trust-inspiring policies and appointments, especially in the economic team of the next leader, will be absolutely crucial,” Salceda said.
He explained that the new law effectively opens up to 100% foreign capital in all economic sectors of the country, with the exception of electricity transmission and distribution, water and sewerage pipelines, seaports, oil pipelines and public utility vehicles.
Salceda added that the new law is the closest the country has come to overcoming “the excess growth caused by the restrictions on foreign capital of the 1987 Constitution”.
“This fixes our self-inflicted IDE limits. No one told us that public services are necessarily public services. We just assumed they meant the same thing, so we imposed foreign capital restrictions on a wide range of capital-intensive services. We didn’t have to. This law settles this issue,” he said.
He said the country needed a lot of foreign capital and the amendment would encourage them to come into the country.
“We have a lot of domestic talent, but they go abroad because the capital needed to hire them is invested abroad,” he added.
Based on his calculations, Salceda said foreign direct investment will be around 299 billion pesos over the next five years.