STOP House Bill #78 Allowing 100% foreign ownership of public services in the Philippines.

STOP House Bill #78 Allowing 100% foreign ownership of public services in the Philippines.

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Ronald Penetrante started this petition to Filipinos and

The bill that would allow foreigners to fully own public services like transportation, communication, and power firms in the Philippines successfully hurdled the House of Representatives.

On Tuesday, March 10, 136 lawmakers voted yes to House Bill (HB) No. 78, which would give a distinction between how a public service and a public utility is defined under Commonwealth Act No. 146 or the Public Service Act, in effect allowing foreigners to fully own public services in the Philippines.

A total of 43 legislators – including several allies of President Rodrigo Duterte – voted against the bill, while one abstained from the vote.

Under HB No. 78, public services are those which are "non-rivalrous or imbued with public interest," such as:

Marine repair shop
Wharf or dock
Canal
Public market
Irrigation system
Gas
Electric light
Heat and power
Water supply and power
Petroleum
Sewerage system
Telecommunications system
Wire or wireless communication system
HB No. 78 then limits the definition of public utility to any person or entity that operates, manages, or controls for public use the distribution of electricity, transmission of electricity, water pipeline distribution, and sewerage pipeline.

But HB No. 78 not only makes a distinction between public services and public utilities, it also leaves out the 60-40 constitutional rule on foreign ownership.

The Senate version of the bill remains pending at the committee level. It has to be approved by senators on 2nd and 3rd readings before Duterte can sign it into law.

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