A bill that seeks to loosen certain regulations on foreign investments is currently under deliberation in the House of Representatives. Valenzuela City representative Weslie Gatchalian stressed the need to relax the existing ownership limitations and paid-up capital requirements that prevent smaller foreign entities from being able to make direct investments, and force overseas companies to partner with local firms.
Under the new law, foreigners will be permitted to own small and medium-sized enterprises with a paid-up capital of less than USD100,000 if the business involves advanced technology or has at least 15 direct employees. The proposed law also seeks to remove the “practice of professions” from the list of prohibitions on foreigners, and allow the regulation of their practice to specific laws that govern their discipline. Gatchalian said if the amendment is approved, it will encourage foreign professionals to practice in the country and will create more employment opportunities, while bringing in technology and know-how to the sector.