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DTI mulls relaxing foreign ownership in construction

BY DARWIN G. AMOJELAR, SENIOR REPORTER
[ manilatimes.net ] July 4, 2011

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is mulling the possibility of relaxing foreign ownership in the construction sector to attract more investors.

DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo told reporters that a constitutional provision prohibits the entry of foreigners in the construction industry.

“That’s something that we are looking right now. My understanding is for certain projects you are required to have local construction company partner,” Domingo told businessmen during the Philippine-Singapore business matching in Makati on Friday.

Under the country’s 8th Regular Foreign Investment Negative List, foreign companies can own up to 25 percent equity in the contracts for the construction and repair of locally-funded public works, as well as infrastructure/development projects under Republic Act 7718.

It also include the projects which are foreign funded or assisted and required to undergo international competitive bidding as well as contracts for the construction of defense related structures.

The Aquino administration aims to attract more foreign investors to achieve the country’s investment ratio of 22 percent by 2016.

The government approved projects worth a combined P3.796 trillion by 2016.

Under the Public-Private Partnership scheme, the government estimated it would require up to P739.78 billion in investments in the next six years.

The 10 PPP infrastructure projects lined up for this year include the P70-billion South Extension of the Light Right Transit Line 1; P11.3-billion East Extension of LRT 2; P7.7-billion Privatization of LRT 1; P6.3-billion Privatization of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3;P11.8-billion Cavite-Laguna

Expressway; and the P10.6 billion second phase of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway.

Other projects include the P7.6-billion New Bohol Airport; P7.5-billion Puerto Princesa Airport; P3.2-billion new Legaspi (Daraga) Airport; and the P1.5-billion Privatization of the Laguindingan Airport.
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