December 1, 2023

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Charter change may not be needed if PSA law is implemented — experts

2 min read

By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and John Victor D. Ordoñez, Reporters

ECONOMISTS and policy experts urged the Marcos administration to fully implement and harness the potential of the amended Public Service Act (PSA), which opens up the economy without changing the current Constitution.

“If Cha-cha (charter change) is off the table, then there must be a concerted effort to implement the Public Service Act to the fullest. On this score, it’s not really opening up new sectors to foreign investors,” Michael Henry Ll. Yusingco, a policy analyst, said in a Facebook Messenger chat.

“It’s really more about doing the required work to ensure the PSA is implemented properly.”

The amended PSA, signed by then-President Rodrigo R. Duterte in March 2022, allows full foreign ownership in telecommunications, domestic shipping, railways and subways, airlines, expressways and tollways, and airports.

The sectors were previously subjected to the 40% foreign ownership cap for public utilities under the Constitution.

It took almost a year for the National Economic and Development Authority to release the implementing rules and regulations of the amended PSA, which took effect on April 4.

“The PSA shows a potential way of expanding our economic opportunities without revising or amending the 1987 Constitution,” Emy Ruth D. Gianan, who teaches economics at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, said via Facebook Messenger chat.

Amending or revising the Constitution requires “a tricky balance between political and economic incentives,” she said. “Lack of support from the supposed main stakeholders of the amendments on key economic provisions in the constitution should signal to Congress not to overwork the proposal.”

The constitution can be modified either through amendments or revisions.  Amendments would not affect the overall structure and basic principles of the Constitution, while revisions would alter the structure.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos,…


2023-04-04 12:32:12

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