Dominguez thanks Duterte, Congress for changing retail law

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Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez III

MANILA – Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez III praised President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Congress for enacting a Department of Finance (DOF)-backed measure that aims to further liberalize the Philippine economy and open up the country to more foreign direct investment (FDI) and job creation.

“As we continue our path to recovery, the economic liberalization bills passed or considered by our legislators will be crucial in attracting much-needed foreign investment that would boost the economy and create many more jobs for Filipinos, even more. right now as the country recovers from the pandemic-induced global health and financial crises,” Dominguez said.

Republic Act (RA) No. 11595, which amends the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA), was signed into law by the President in December and released by the Palace last week.

Dominguez said the provisions of this measure will simplify and ease the restrictions for foreign retailers wishing to set up shop in the Philippines.

RA 11595 is one of three investor-friendly measures endorsed by President Duterte and pushed through Congress by Dominguez and the rest of the chief executive’s economic team.

The other two are the bills amending the Public Services Act (PSA) and the Foreign Investment Act (FIA).

The report of the bicameral committee (bicam) on amendments to the FIA ​​was ratified by both Houses on December 7, 2021 and is currently awaiting review by the Office of the President (OP).

Meanwhile, the Senate and House have passed their respective versions of the PSA-amendment bill, but still have to go through a bicameral process before being ratified by both houses and then submitted to the president for approval.

Under RA 11595, the minimum capital requirement for foreign companies planning to do business here has been lowered from PHP 125 million to PHP 25 million.

Qualification requirements have also been simplified by removing required net worth, number of retail branches, and retail background requirements.

“By lowering the minimum paid-up capital and simplifying the qualification requirements for foreign retailers, the amendments will go a long way to attracting foreign retailers to come and create jobs. It will also increase competition between businesses, which will benefit our consumers by providing more choice at lower and more competitive prices,” said Dominguez.

“These are welcome changes from the previous rule which disproportionately favored already large companies, prevented various small investors such as startups from entering the Philippine retail market, and made compliance more difficult for foreign retailers,” he said. he added.

The new law also encourages foreign retailers to stock products made in the Philippines.

“This will help protect our country’s small, local manufacturers and encourage retailers to provide opportunities for locally made products, even if they are foreign-owned. We hope this will also help generate much needed jobs and income for Filipinos,” said Dominguez.

He thanked Congress for drafting the law and ensuring its benefits to the country and its constituents.

“We express our deep appreciation to our legislators for their determination to pass the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act. We also look forward to working with them continuously on the enactment of the two remaining economic liberalization bills,” he said.

Dominguez also praised the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) for pushing through the passage of the economic liberalization bills, as well as the rest of the Cabinet’s Economic Development Group (EDC).

“We thank President Duterte for his timely approval of the bill and our fellow economic managers in the executive branch for leading the effort to further liberalize our economy,” he said. (PR)

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