Duterte signs new EO restricting foreign investments

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FILE PHOTO

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 31) — President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order (EO) that restricts foreign ownership in certain businesses.

Executive Order No. 65, signed on October 29, promulgates the 11th Regular Foreign Investment Negative List.

The restriction is based on foreign equity limits based on existing laws, administrative issuances and department opinions.

Topping the list of businesses that should have zero foreign equity stake are mass media and and small-scale mining.

The EO restricts foreign equity in the following:

Mass media, except recording and internet businesses

Practice of professions in X-ray technology, criminology, law, marine deck and marine engine officers

Retail trade enterprises with paid-up capital of less than $2.5 million

Cooperatives

Organization and operation of private detectives, watchmen and security guard agencies

Small-scale mining

Utilization of marine resources in archipelagic waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zones

Small-scale utilization of marine resources in rivers, lakes, bays and lagoons

Cockpits

Nuclear weapons

Biological, chemical and radioactive weapons

Anti-personnel mines

Manufacture of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics

Private recruitment agencies for employment, and contracts for construction of defense-related structures can have up to 25 percent foreign equity.

Advertising businesses can have up to 30 percent foreign shares.

The EO also lists businesses that can have up to 40 percent foreign ownership, which includes exploration of natural resources, land ownership, commercial deep sea fishing, ownership of condominium units, and products requiring clearances from the police and/or the defense departments.

In a statement, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) welcomed the signing of the EO.

"We are very happy to see the 11th RFINL finally approved and signed. This will help raise the country's competitiveness, and allow us to be closer to parity with other ASEAN member-states by opening up more areas for foreign investment into the country, particularly those that will introduce new technology and stimulate innovation," said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

The NEDA also noted that the EO also allows 100 percent foreign participation in the following businesses:

Internet businesses

Teaching in higher education levels, excluding professional subjects

Skills training centers for subjects that are not a part of the educational system

Adjustment companies

Lending companies

Financing companies

Investment houses

Wellness centers