Press Release
December 14, 2015


Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, Ladies & Gentlemen:

Your Committee on Economic Affairs has the honor to sponsor Senate Bill No. 3023, under Committee Report No. 321 entitled "An Act Amending Foreign Ownership Restrictions in Specific Laws Governing Adjustment Companies, Lending Companies, Financing Companies and Investment Houses Cited in the Foreign Investment Negative List, Except Those in the Constitution and for Other Purposes."

The government recognizes the essential role of the private sector investments in our economy. However, there are certain deterrent in place for us to fully utilize the opportunity that foreign investments can bring. One of which is the Foreign Investment Negative List.

Last May 29, 2015, the Tenth Regular Foreign Negative List was promulgated by no less than President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. In pursuance of economic reforms, the Tenth Regular Foreign Negative List is shorter compared to previous negative lists. Included in those removed from the list are the Lending Companies, Financing Companies and Investment Houses. Those companies are merely placed as footnote on the said list.

In line with the path of economic reforms being undertaken by the current administration, your Committee on Economic Affairs is pushing for the passage of Senate Bill 3023. This bill ambitions cooperation from foreign investors in harnessing the rich business potential of the Philippine economy.

Currently, foreign investors in Financing Companies and Investment Houses are allowed up to 60% ownership. Whereas, foreign investors in Lending Companies are allowed to have up to 69 % equity participation while 40% in Adjustment Companies.

Mr. President, Senate Bill No. 3203 if passed into law, will open fully to foreign investors the ownership of Financing Companies, Investment Houses, Lending Companies and Adjustment Companies. Thus, those mentioned will no longer be included in the Eleventh Regular Foreign Negative List, not even on its footnotes. By virtue of this, Foreign Investors will be encouraged to invest more in those lines of Companies. Consequently, it will diversify the financial services to Philippine enterprises.

I am of great belief that through legislation, foreign direct investment would be guided to the right path of national economic development. The floodgates of job and career opportunities for our country men would open once the Foreign Investment Negative List is slightly freed up from too much restriction. If the harsh realities tell us that there are limited to no opportunities and there is another party that could provide such, we should take whatever help we could get. As mandated by Republic Act No. 7042 otherwise known as the Foreign Investment Act of 1991, we shall welcome foreign investments as supplement to Filipino capital and technology in those enterprises serving mainly the domestic market.

If the Foreign Investment Negative List works as a gap for economic development, then let it be reformed through legislation. Let the gap be bridged.

Thus, I am fervently pushing for the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 3023.

Thank you.

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