Atty. Rami Hourani
The Philippines has just amended the 85 year old Public Service Act which is now just waiting for his signature. The amendment permits One Hundred (100) Percent Foreign ownership in the following industries:
- Domestic Shipping
- Railways and Subways
- Expressways and Tollways
These changes are a welcome introduction in to the Philippines as they make it possible for foreign investors come in and drive down the cost of logistics and to cause our internet service providers to serve the public better or face competition from abroad. To me though, the most important aspect of this is how it will near imperceptibly improve the lives of the everyday Filipino.
The Philippines has many structural problems but one of the ones that received the least attention the past decades was the near impossibility of creating cost effective supply chains across our beloved archipelago. I discuss how this implicit choice made by our laws affects us in this article. The change in the law is going to cause prosperity to cascade across our geography and make the sea lanes that envelop our country less of a barrier to economic progress. Why is it that I choose to bring the 2022 election into the mix though?
The titanic shift in our foreign ownership laws is going to guarantee that the next President who runs our country is going to preside over economic growth and an expansion of the fruits of new abundance across our population. A good steward for our nation would reinvest those fruits so that future generations can enjoy the awesome power of compound interest. However, the Philippines can just as easily choose a kleptocrat whose only interest would be line his pockets with the wealth of our nation. Worse still, in either case said President would enjoy the popular support that naturally comes with economic growth. This means that our prospective kleptolotician would likely be thoroughly loved for nothing more than being at the right place, at the right time.
Atty. Hourani practices law in Cebu City, Philippines. If you would like to set an appointment with him, you may reach him here.