Biz groups: Pass PSA amendments

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    Local business groups yesterday called on the Senate to pass within the 18th Congress the amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA) to help local businesses safely recover from the pandemic.

    The groups said contrary to the concerns of some senators that passing the bill will pose a threat to local businesses, “we see the passage of the amendments to the Public Service Act as crucial to the country’s long-term ability to attract investment, promote competition, and create jobs and to the whole-of-nation effort to facilitate safe economic recovery. “

    Alcuaz

    “We hope that Senate will heed our call as this bill has been approved by the House of Representatives,” said Coco Alcuaz, executive director of Makati Business Club, one of the business groups that signed a joint statement yesterday. The others are the Financial Executives Association of the Philippines , Filipina CEO Circle, Investment House Association of the Philippines, Judicial Reform Initiative, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Retailers Association, Philippine Women’s Economic Network and the Women’s Business Council.

    In a separate statement, the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. and the UP School of Economics Alumni Association agreed with the stand of the Department of Finance in asking the legislature to “act on something doable and immediately achievable.”

    “The PSA is one of the structural reforms that need to be passed to make our country attractive to foreign investors to complement the tax reforms recently enacted by the government. If we delay these reforms, it can result in the country lagging behind our Asean neighbors in our quest for economic recovery and sustainability,” said Jeffry Ng, president of the UP School of Economics Alumni Association.

    The Competitive Currency Forum (CCF) also urged President Duterte to call upon lawmakers to pass the PSA citing its importance to facilitating improved access to broadband technology throughout the whole country.

    The House of Representatives in March last year approved on final reading House Bill No. 78 which will amend the PSA which will lift oreign ownership limits in certain sectors.

    The amendments will also open the telecommunications and transport sectors to foreign ownership.