(PHOTO FROM THE INQUIRENT FILE / MARIANNE BERMUDEZ)

MANILA, Philippines — The amendment to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution — if carried out — would send a signal to the rest of the world that the Philippines is ready and flexible for investment, two members of the House of Representatives said Monday.

Stella Quimbo, representative of the 2nd district of Marikina, and Joey Salceda, representative of the 2nd district of Albay, in a press conference, stated that there will be immediate and long-term useful effects if the country eases the restrictive economic provisions, especially as the Philippines are currently a difficult country to sell. due to foreign ownership limits.

“Opening our economy is a way of signaling to the world that we are a flexible economy – that is the problem with our restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution, we are inflexible in their eyes,” Quimbo told journalists.

“So if investors think we are inflexible, we need to address this and fix it. So, by doing this, it is a clear sign that now the new Philippines is not what it was before and that capital would soon arrive. And what evidence do we have? It happened in the energy sector,” she added.

Quimbo said being a hard sell requires the President and his economic team to visit other countries and religiously attend investment summits because the world thinks the Philippines does not have a clear position on economic liberalization.

However, Salceda believes that the impact of changing the 1987 Constitution could be felt immediately, because it would increase the demand for shares in the stock market – and therefore increase the price of each share for many companies.

“In the stock market you can feel it right away, it’s a great signal that the economy is open. As of now, if you look at the stock market, it looks dead because the shares there belong to Filipinos,” he explained.

“But if you say that the shares there can be bought by foreigners, the prices would go up, you can see that. So there is an immediate impact, there is an intermediate impact and also a long-term impact, but the immediate impact will be on the stock market,” he added.

Quimbo said proof of the economic changes generating investment can be seen in the changes to the Public Service Act (PSA), which she said have brought huge funds to the energy industry.

However, the Marikina lawmaker noted that although telecommunications has been included in the list of public services open to foreign investment, it has also been placed in the critical infrastructure category, meaning it is subject to a 60- 40, with only the lowest amount open to foreign companies.


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