The relaxing of restrictions on foreigners’ participation in infrastructure and some professions is contained in Executive Order No. 65 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on behalf of Duterte last Oct. 29.
Duterte eases foreign investment ‘off-limit’ rules
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 1, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has allowed the entry of more foreign investments in infrastructure projects and has permitted foreigners to practice some professions in the country.

The relaxing of restrictions on foreigners’ participation in infrastructure and some professions is contained in Executive Order No. 65 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on behalf of Duterte last Oct. 29.

The order seeks to promulgate the 11th regular foreign investment negative list, which enumerates the areas or activities open to foreign investors and those reserved only for Filipinos.

Duterte’s executive order updated the 10th regular foreign investment negative list signed by former president Benigno Aquino III in 2015.

Under the latest foreign investment negative list, up to 40 percent foreign equity is allowed for contracts for the construction and repair of locally funded public works.

The relaxation, however, does not cover the amended Build-Operate-Transfer Law and projects that are foreign-funded or assisted and required to undergo international competitive bidding.

The relaxing of foreign equity limits came as the government is seeking to lure more investments on infrastructure to maintain the country’s growth momentum.

“The latest Foreign Investment Negative List is meant to liberalize as many sectors as possible to keep up with domestic and global demands, and designed to be consistent with the policy of easing restrictions on foreign participation in certain industries or activities,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

“While the cited area of liberalization is not exclusively intended for the Build Build Build program of the government, we accorded due consideration to the reality that construction is one of the most important sectors today in view of the demand arising from the said program and the support given by the Filipinos to it,” he added.

The allowed foreign equity on private radio communications network has been increased to 40 percent from the previous 20 percent.

The 11th regular foreign investment negative list also enumerated professions that foreigners are allowed to practice in the country. Foreigners who specialize in the following fields can practice their profession if their home countries also allow Filipinos to do the same: accountancy, aeronautical engineering, agricultural and biosystems engineering, architecture, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, customs brokerage, dentistry, electoral engineering, electronics engineering, electronics technician and environmental planning.

Also covered are fisheries, forestry, geodetic engineering, geology, guidance and counseling, interior design, landscape architecture, librarianship, master plumbing, mechanical engineering, midwifery, mining engineering and naval architecture.

The rest of the fields are nursing, nutrition and dietetics, optometry, pharmacy, physical and occupational therapy, psychology, real estate service, respiratory therapy, sanitary engineering, social work, teaching at elementary and secondary levels, veterinary medicine and other professions as may be provided by law or by treaty where the Philippines is a party.

Meanwhile, corporate practice of the following professions is now allowed, subject to the requirements and conditions under the pertinent professional regulatory law: aeronautical engineering, agricultural and biosystems engineering, architecture, chemistry, electronics engineering, environmental planning, forestry, guidance and counseling, interior design, landscape architecture, naval architecture, psychology, real estate service, sanitary engineering and social work.

BENIGNO AQUINO III FOREIGN INVESTMENTS RODRIGO DUTERTE SALVADOR MEDIALDEA
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