Ex-NEDA head Sicat bats for easing limits on foreign investment
Former National Economic and Development Authority ( NEDA) head Gerardo Sicat suggested amending the 1987 Constitution's limits on foreign investments to attract more foreign capital.
The Charter limits foreign investors of a project to 40 percent.
"What we need to do is directly tackle the restrictive economic provision of the Philippine Constitution so we can have better framework for foreign capital," said Sicat in a forum in Quezon City Friday.
Sicat said more foreign direct investments will improve the performance and competitiveness of the economy.
Sicat said foreign competition will improve local businesses and will open more employment opportunities.
Sicat lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for some achievements made in the economy.
One of the programs under the administration that Sicat mentioned is the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) law which he said has "raised the capacity of the economy to move further."
Sicat also highlighted the administration's focus on bringing more investments in the country.
"Before, the government was consumption driven. However, through the Build, Build, Build program, he (Duterte) has introduced an investment driven framework for development," he shared.
But Sicat explained that despite the "consistent and sustained" growth within the past years, the Philippines is still not up to par with its neighboring countries.
"We have been falling behind some major neighbors like China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia," he said.
"Even Vietnam which has started from nothing in the late 80s has surpassed Philippines," he added.
Sicat said the government should be concerned that the Philippines has yet to match the performance of Southeast Asian countries. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS