House OKs bill relaxing foreign retailer rules

October 23, 2021 Jester P. Manalastas 198 views

IN a bid to encourage more foreign retailers to have stock inventory of products which are made in the Philippines, the House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading the House Bill 59.

The measure seeks to amend specific provisions of RA 8762 or the “Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000.”

The bill’s authors led by AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin said the measure aims to ease business restrictions to allow more investments to come in.

The Retail Trade Liberalization Act was passed in 2000 to promote productive investment that will bring down price for Filipino consumers, create more jobs, assist small manufacturers, and stimulate economic growth.

Under the law, enterprises with paid-up capital of less than US$2.5 million are reserved exclusively for Filipino citizens and corporations wholly owned by Filipino citizens. As such, only enterprises with a minimum capitalization of $2.5 million or more may be owned fully by foreigners.

However, this requirement, according to the solons, is among the highest in ASEAN, and has been deemed restrictive by foreign investors.

During the pandemic, the Philippine economy, aside from the people’s health, is one of the hardest hit sectors.

Garin said this measure will relax barriers to entry of foreign investment in retail trade to which it proposes to lower the required minimum capital for foreign retail investors to US$500,000.

The bill was already transmitted to the Senate.