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DTI welcomes economic Cha-cha

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Tuesday said they
welcomed efforts to remove the economic restrictions in the
Constitution, stressing the move will help unleash the economic
potential of the Philippines, the second fastest growing economy in
Southeast Asia.

At the continuation of public hearing of the House Committee on
Constitutional Amendments on Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 2,
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said removing the economic barriers will
lure more foreign investors into the country.

Our economy has been recognized as the second fastest growing economy
in Southeast Asia until the year 2019, right before the pandemic
struck, with average growth of 6 percent for 14 consecutive quarters.
We also know that such growth rates could even be higher if we were
able to remove basic restrictions, such as the foreign ownership of
businesses in certain sectors stipulated in the Constitution,” Lopez
told the House panel.

We therefore welcome the efforts—whether through a Charter change or
the enactment of laws—in removing these economic restrictions and any
barriers that limit foreign participation in investments and economic
activities,” the Cabinet official said. “Eliminating these barriers
will certainly unleash the high growth potential of the of the

Lopez shared during the hearing that prior to the pandemic, the
department already had 90 investment leads, or serious investors that
had already decided to set shop in the Philippines.

The DTI chief said, however, that this number was only half of the
investors the country could have attracted if the economy was less

Though members of the government economic team did not immediately
provide projections of the foreign direct investment (FDI) that would
result from lifting the restrictive economic provisions of the
Constitution, House Ways and Means Chairperson and Albay 2nd District
Rep. Joey Salceda shared figures he had computed after consultations
with economists and experts.

His estimates show that RBH No. 2 could lead to an additional average
annual FDI of PHP330 billion pesos (US$6.8 billion) and generate 6.6
million jobs over a 10-year period.

A report by the 38th Global Investment Trends Monitor recently
revealed that FDI flows into the Philippines for 2020 amounted to
US$6.4 billion.