Philippines eyes constitutional amendments to ease economic restrictions

By Reuters   December 11, 2023 | 12:04 am PT
Philippines eyes constitutional amendments to ease economic restrictions
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and House Speaker Martin Romualdez clap their hands as Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), at the House of Representative in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 24, 2023. Photo by Reuters/Lisa Marie David
Philippine lawmakers are considering efforts to amend the country's constitution to ease restrictive provisions on economic ownership, a top congressional leader said on Monday.

"We want to lift the restrictive provisions vis a vis the economy," House Speaker Martin Romualdez said in an economic briefing.

Romualdez said top congressional leaders of the country's political parties are meeting Monday to discuss procedural issues that have hampered past efforts to amend the Philippines' 1987 constitution.

The amendments, he said, will allow lawmakers to "regulate" economic sectors that can be opened for foreign investors.

Foreign business chambers have been urging Congress to lift current limits to foreign investment, including the so-called 60-40 rule, which caps foreign ownership of local firms at 40%.

Past efforts to rewrite the constitution have failed. Critics have said efforts to amend the constitution could also open doors for lawmakers to lift term limits for elected officials.

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