Lawmakers OK bill lifting foreign ownership in telcos, transport

The House of Representatives approved, on the third and final reading, a bill seeking to allow foreign ownership of telecommunication and transportation businesses, to the dismay of dozens of lawmakers who rejected it.

House Bill No. 78, if signed into law, will remove telecommunication and transportation from the list of public utilities in which the Public Service Act limits foreign ownership to 40% while reserving 60% for Filipinos.

Representative Joey Ma. Salceda, author of the bill, said the legislative reform will significantly contribute to increasing competition and protecting the public interest.

Last year, the Duterte administration allowed the entry of a third telco player, DITO Telecommunity, a consortium of Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp and Chelsea Logistics with state-run China Telecom.

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