THE Senate unanimously approved at third and final reading a measure that aims to further ease the entry requirements for foreign retailers in the Philippines.
The upper house passed Senate Bill (SB) 1840 on May 19, an act to amend Republic Act (RA) 8762, also known as the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA ) from 2000.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd, chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Commerce and Entrepreneurship and sponsor of SB 1840, said the proposed measure aims to encourage foreign investment by removing certain barriers for foreign investors. retail foreigners interested in engaging in retail business in the country.
Under this measure, paid-in capital for foreign retail companies will be lowered to 50 million pesos from the current $ 2.5 million.
Under the current RTLA, foreigners are allowed to set up businesses with a minimum paid-up capital of $ 2.5 million and in no case will the investment for setting up a store be less than $ 830,000.
The proposed measure also obliges the country of origin of foreign retailers to allow entry of Filipino retailers.
To protect the country’s micro and small businesses, SBN 1840 will require foreign retailers who wish to set up more than one physical store to invest at least 25 million pesos for each store.
“It is state policy to promote consumer welfare and protect investments that will lower the cost of products for Filipino consumers and create a competitive retail environment that encourages innovation,” said declared Pimentel.
The amending bill also removes the prequalification requirement for foreign retailers to have been in the retail business for the past five years and to have at least five retail branches anywhere in the world.
SB 1840 also requires foreign retailers to maintain the paid-in capital of 50 million pesos in the Philippines at all times and failure to do so would expose the foreign retailer to penalties and would be limited to engaging in any future activity in the Philippines. Philippines.
With respect to the hiring of employees, the bill requires all foreign retailers to comply with the applicable provisions of the labor code on determining the unavailability of competent, capable and willing Filipinos before hiring the worker. service of foreign nationals.
The bill also encourages foreign retailers to have stock of products made in the Philippines.
“I believe that through this initiative, additional capital will be injected into our economy and jobs will be created to help us recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pimentel said.
SB 1840 is a consolidation of Senate bills introduced by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos.