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Poe seeks amendments to Charter’s economic provision to allow entry of 3rd telco player



By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Grace Poe raised the need to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution to fully allow the entry of a third player in the telecommunications industry and pave the way for more foreign investments in the country.

Senator Grace Poe (Senate of the Philippines official Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Grace Poe
(Senate of the Philippines official Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)

Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said opening the telecommunications sector to foreign companies would not only improve competition but would create more jobs for Filipinos.

“We can allow a third player and what we want (is)to have a competition. If it will bring foreign investments into the country, why not?” she told reporters in an interview Wednesday.

Poe emphasized the need to revise parts of the 1987 Constitution to accommodate foreign companies in the telecommunications industry.

At present, the Constitution limits foreign ownership of companies in the Philippines to 40 percent, prioritizing local businesses from foreign competition.

“If we are to amend the Constitution, that’s what we need to focus on, the amendment of its economic provisions to allow more competition and foreign investments that would create more jobs in our country,” she said.

The Public Services panel also tackles matters on utilities and communications, including the grant or amendment of legislative franchises.

Poe said that should they formally discuss granting franchises to a foreign-controlled telecommunications company, the permit should specify that it would prioritize the creation of jobs for Filipinos.

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