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Philippines urged to relax foreign investment restrictions

Economists call for Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s administration to amend the 1987 Constitution to relax foreign ownership restrictions and cut bureaucratic hurdles to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Philippines. Highlighting the country’s stringent economic provisions compared to ASEAN peers, former Finance Secretary Margarito B. Teves pointed out the uniqueness of embedding such restrictions in the Constitution. Despite a 27.8% increase in FDI net inflows to USD1.04bn in November, the Philippines remains behind regional counterparts in FDI attractiveness. The recent Public Service Act, permitting 100% foreign ownership in select sectors, signifies progress, though its impacts are still pending Supreme Court validation.


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