We are pleased to share Quisumbing Torres' handbook on Easing of Investment Rules in the Philippines.

The Philippines has taken active steps not only in revitalizing its economy from the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in ensuring that economic growth continues in the years to come. In 2020, two crucial stimulus laws have already been passed: Republic Act No. 11469 and Republic Act No. 11494, otherwise known as Bayanihan Acts One and Two. These were passed to jumpstart the Philippine economy and to serve as an immediate solution to the havoc that the pandemic has brought.

Easing of Investment Rules in the Philippines

In addition to the Bayanihan Acts, the government pursued a policy of liberalizing the economy to attract foreign direct investments into the country, while putting in place certain safeguards to protect national security.

This policy is being implemented through four landmark laws:

  • Republic Act No. 11659, "An Act Amending Commonwealth Act No. 146, Otherwise Known as the Public Service Act, as amended" ("PSA Amendatory Law");
  • Republic Act No. 11647, "An Act Promoting Foreign Investments, Amending Thereby Republic Act No. 7042, Otherwise Known as the 'Foreign Investments Act of 1991'" as Amended, and for Other Purposes" ("FIA Amendatory Law");
  • Republic Act No. 11595, "An Act Amended Republic No. 8762, Otherwise Known as the 'Retail Trade Liberalization Act of 2000,' by Lowering the Required Paid-Up Capital for Foreign Retail Enterprises, and for Other Purposes" ("RTLA Amendatory Law") and its implementing rules and regulations ("IRR"); and
  • Republic Act No. 11534, "An Act Reforming the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives System, Amending for the Purpose Sections 20, 22, 25, 27, 28, 29, 34, 40, 57, 109, 116, 204 and 290 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as Amended, and Creating Therein New Title XIII, and for Other Purposes," ("CREATE Law").

Apart from attracting foreign investments into the country, some of these laws also provide a foreign investment review mechanism to protect national security. Moreover, outside of Congress and these four landmark laws, there have been other legal developments that will further liberalize foreign investments into the country.