Senate approves Bill to open up foreign ownership of telcos

16 Dec 2021

The Philippines’ Senate yesterday (15 December) approved on the third and final reading Senate Bill 2094 which aims to open up industries to foreign investors, including for public services such as telecommunications providers. With the Bill having passed through the House of Representatives back in March 2020, the Senate has now approved it by a margin of 19 to three in favour. The measure reportedly seeks to clarify the definitions between the terms ‘public utility’ and ‘public service’, noting that under the 1987 Constitution, only corporations that are at least 60% owned by Filipinos will currently be given the franchise, certificate, and authorisation to operate as a public utility. Going forward, telcos could now be considered as a public service and, as such, ‘no longer bound by restrictions on foreign ownership’.

Philippines