DOF lauds enactment of amended RTLA

Published January 9, 2022, 9:00 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Department of Finance (DOF) has commended President Duterte and the members of Congress for the enactment of a law that will further liberalize the economy and open up the country to more foreign direct investments (FDIs).

Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the enactment into law of the amended Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA) will be crucial to bringing in much needed foreign investments that would supercharge the economy and create more jobs.

“More so at this time when the country is recovering from the pandemic-induced global health and financial crises,” said Dominguez, Duterte’s chief economic manager.

Republic Act (RA) No. 11595, which amended the RTLA, was signed into law by Duterte in December and was released by the Malacanang last week.

Dominguez said the provisions of the measure will simplify and ease restrictions for foreign retailers that wish to set up shop in the Philippines.

RA 11595 is one of the three investor-friendly measures endorsed by Duterte and whose passage had been pushed in the Congress by Dominguez and the rest of the economic team.

The two others are the amendatory bills to the Public Services Act (PSA) and the Foreign Investment Act (FIA).

The bicameral committee report on the amendments to the FIA was ratified by both Houses last Dec. 7 and is currently pending review by the Office of the President (OP).

Meanwhile, the Senate and House have passed their respective versions of the bill amending the PSA, but still has to go through bicam proceedings before being ratified by both chambers and then submitted to Duterte for his approval.

In RA 11595, the minimum paid-up capital requirement for foreign corporations planning to do business here was lowered from P125 million to P25 million.

The qualification requirements were also simplified by removing required net worth, number of retailing branches, and retailing track record conditions.

“By lowering the minimum paid-up capital and simplifying the qualification requirements for foreign retailers, the amendments will significantly aid in incentivizing foreign retailers to come in and create jobs,” Dominguez said.

“This will also enhance competition among enterprises, which will be beneficial to our consumers by providing more choices at lower and more competitive prices,” he added.

Additionally, the new law also encourages foreign retailers to have a stock inventory of products that are made in the Philippines.

“This will help protect our country’s small local manufacturers and encourage retailers to provide opportunities for locally-made products, despite being foreign-owned. We hope this will also aid in generating much needed employment and income for Filipinos,” said Dominguez.