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House OKs Foreign Investment Act amendments on final reading

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The House of Representatives has approved on final reading proposed amendments to the Foreign Investment Act of 1991 which seeks to allow foreigners to practice their profession in the country.

Voting 201-6 with seven abstentions, the House plenary voted for the approval of House Bill No. 300 that aims to allow foreign professionals to practice in the Philippines and minimize the number of direct local hires to 15 from the current 50.

Tarlac Rep. Victor Yap, primary author of the proposed legislation, said that allowing foreign professionals to practice in the Philippines will bring in technology and know-how from abroad.

Yap said HB 3000 will help create jobs for locals “by attracting businesses that require highly skilled professionals in the country.”

House Committee on Economic Affairs chair and AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin

in her sponsorship speech said that “allowing skilled professionals to work in our country would boost the competitiveness of our human resource.”

“By working with professionals from more advanced countries, Filipinos gain fresh perspectives and new knowledge, broadening the skills set they may already have,” said Garin.

Garin stressed that by reducing the employment threshold from 50 to 15, they country could generate more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in terms of value—instead of requiring a $100,000 investment to employ 50 individuals, four firms investing USD100,000 each will pour in a total of USD400,000 and hire a total of 60 employees.

“If the Philippines is able to attract 100 investments, this strategy would generate $10 million in investments and would employ 1,500 Filipinos,” said Garin.

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