Louella Desiderio – The Philippine Star

October 21, 2022 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is looking to issue the implementing rules and regulations of the amended  Public Service Act (PSA) within the month.

“We are still trying to release something before the end of this month because we committed that,” NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

NEDA, however, is looking at a graduated issuance of the rules as there are many agencies involved that need to sign the IRR.

“Getting that coordination with many other agencies might take us long. So we are looking at that possibility of graduated issuance depending on how quickly we can reconcile concerns of other agencies,” he said.

In coordination with  NEDA, the following agencies will have to promulgate the IRR of the law: Civil Aeronautics Board, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Transportation, Energy Regulatory Commission, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Land Transportation Office, Local Water Utilities Administration, Maritime Industry Authority, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, National Telecommunications Commission, National Water Resources Board, Philippine National Railways, Philippine Ports Authority, and the Toll Regulatory Board.

Republic Act 11659, which amended the PSA, was signed by former president Rodrigo Duterte last March 21.

Under the amended PSA, full foreign ownership will be allowed in telecommunications, domestic shipping, railways, subways, airlines, airports, expressways and tollways.

Prior to the approval of the law, foreign ownership in the sectors was limited to 40 percent.

Balisacan said earlier the implementation of the amended PSA, along with economic liberalization reforms passed during the previous administration such as the amendments to the Foreign Investments Act (FIA) and Retail Trade Liberalization (RTL) Act, would enable the country to get more investments.

Under the amended FIA, foreign firms can invest up to 100 percent in a domestic enterprise, unless participation is prohibited or limited by existing laws.

The amended RTL, meanwhile, reduced the minimum paid-up capital for foreign investors in the retail sector to P25 million from the previous $2.5 million.

“These reforms would attract high-value and innovation-driven investments which, in turn, could generate more and quality employment,” Balisacan said.

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