The Philippines’ Senate has approved a bill that would allow foreign investment into several sectors, including telecommunications providers.
CommsUpdate reports that Senate Bill 2094 was approved on 15th December following the third reading, with 19 in favour and three opposed. The bill was cleared by the House of Representatives in March 2020.
The bill is aimed at attracting foreign investment into public utilities, and the distinction between these and public services has been a sticking point in the Philippines. The bill notes that country’s 1987 Constitution specifies that corporations must be at least 60% Filipino-owned before they are granted the authorisation, certificate and franchise to become a public utility.
The definition is significant as telecoms providers may now be classified as a public service, meaning that they are “no longer bound by restrictions on foreign ownership”.