Press Releases

Salceda reminds NEDA: “You’re past deadline for release of IRR of the Public Service Act;” House tax chair says rules for key liberalization law needed to boost FDIs

October 19th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district), one of the principal authors and sponsors of RA 11659, or the Amendments to the Public Service Act, reminded the National Economic and Development Authority that “the deadline is over” for the release of the implementing rules and regulations of the key investment liberalization law.

“The deadline was 6 months after the effectivity of the Public Service Act. That deadline lapsed two weeks ago. Where’s the IRR?” Salceda asked.

“This delay is another self-inflicted wound. Our FDIs are taking a hit due to global conditions. But we can stave off the bleeding by opening up the sectors we already decided to open up by law,”

Republic Act (RA) No. 11659 or “An Act Amending Commonwealth Act No. 146 otherwise known as the Public Service Act” as amended was signed by the President on 21 March 2022. Salceda was its leading author and sponsor in the House of Representatives

This measure allows up to 100% foreign ownership of public services in the country, except those classified as public utilities.

With the passage of RA 11659, the term “public utility” has been limited to public service that operates, manages, or controls for public use any of the following: Distribution of Electricity; Transmission of Electricity; Petroleum and petroleum products pipeline transmission systems; Water pipeline distribution systems and wastewater pipeline systems, including sewerage pipeline systems; Seaports; and Public utility vehicles.

“At this point, especially when the draft was already more or less complete before the Duterte administration ended, this delay is frankly unacceptable. Especially during a time when we are trying to fight off capital flight.”

“Shouldn’t we be throwing anything we have on hand at the problem of low FDIs? I fought very hard in Congress, amid dozens of interpellators, to get this law passed quickly. IRR na lang ‘yan. The ball is entirely in NEDA’s court. It’s two weeks past deadline. Where is it?”

Salceda earlier said that the PSA amendments could attract as much as P299 billion in new foreign investments over the next five years as a result of the law’s liberalization of key sectors.

“We’ve tied our own hands from picking this extremely low hanging fruit,” Salceda said.

Salceda said that if the IRR is not released “within October,” he will “ask the Committee on Economic Affairs to inquire into the delay.” The economic affairs panel, which Salceda is Vice Chair of, is the originating committee of the landmark measure.

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