Retail easing to recoup pandemic-related losses

Elijah Felice Rosales – The Filipino Star

January 10, 2022 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines — Passing a law making it easier for foreign retailers to enter will not only bring in new capital, but also create livelihood opportunities that the economy needs to rebound from the pandemic, according to the finance ministry.

DOF Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said yesterday that measures opening up the economy to foreign participation would boost the country’s chances of recouping the losses it suffered during the height of the lockdowns.

Dominguez said the signing of Republic Act (RA) 11595 encourages foreign retailers to consider the Philippines as an investment location for their expansion branches.

RA 11595, approved by President Duterte in December, amended RA 8762 or the Retail Liberalization Act of 2000. RA 11595 reduces the capital required for foreign retailers to 25 million pesos compared to RA 8762’s $2.5 million (at least 125 million pesos) to entice global brands to locate their stores here.

The law also simplifies qualification requirements for foreign retailers by removing requirements on net worth, number of retail branches and track record.

With operational bottlenecks lifted, the government hopes international companies will set up shop here to benefit an economy pressed to grow 7-9% this year.

Dominguez said changes to retail law allow small businesses to compete for buyers, preventing companies from dominating the market simply because they can afford to pay the minimum capital.

“This will increase competition between businesses, which will benefit our consumers by providing more choice at lower, more competitive prices,” Dominguez said.

The finance chief added that RA 11595 benefits local manufacturers by encouraging, but not obliging, foreign retailers to maintain an inventory of Philippine-made products.

“This will help protect our country’s small, local manufacturers and encourage retailers to provide opportunities for locally made products, even if they are foreign-owned. We hope this will also help generate much needed jobs and income for Filipinos,” said Dominguez.

Moving forward, Dominguez said two measures should also be approved to complement the impact of RA 11595 on investment and job creation. These reforms are as follows: 1991.

In December, the Senate and House of Representatives ratified the report of a bicameral commission on FIA reviews and forwarded it to the president’s office for consideration.

On the other hand, the Senate and the House will meet in a bicameral conference committee to deliberate on their contradictory provisions in the amendments to the PSA.


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