By Ernie Reyes
MANILA – Sen. Grace Poe asked the National Economic and Development
Authority (NEDA) to submit the necessary data on the projected impact
of the proposed amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA) on covered
industries such as power generation, transportation, broadcasting, and
“Liberalizing certain sectors is going through a hurdle because of
national security concerns that we have to balance with economic
concerns. If you’re not going to make our argument strong enough by
providing data, we might not be able to get what we want from here,
which is the spirit of the law—liberalizing our economy,” said Poe.
Poe raised that while NEDA is the lead agency assigned to the PSA,
there has been feedback saying the agency’s support to the crafting of
the bill has been found wanting, particularly on research and data.
The senator asked the agency for information on how the Philippine
economy and local sectors and industries will benefit from the passage
of the bill.
“We will tackle the amendments by next week. If you’re really serious
about having a successful version of the bill passed, I think that you
should give us projections for telcos, airlines, and shipping,
especially the foreign ownership limits in all countries,” Poe said.
The President certified as urgent the immediate passage of three
measures that will boost the country’s economic recovery in the
pandemic, one of those being the PSA.
NEDA Sec. Karl Chua indicated that should the PSA be passed, there
will be marked interest especially in the telecommunications and
transport sectors, considering the huge gap between what the country
can provide and how much it actually needs.
Poe asked NEDA to be at the forefront and take responsibility in
ensuring that his agency delivers due contributions to the bill to
protect the public’s highest interest. (ai/mtvn)