Further Investment Liberalization Sought

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Byline: FIL C. SIONIL

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Emeritus Miguel Varela is batting for the further liberalization of foreign investments that includes land ownership and the easing up of the 60-40 grandfather rule to improve business climate and attract more foreign investors to the country.

As a member of the 60-man strong Constitutional Commission, Varela said he will be recommending a thorough review of the economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution with an end in view of opening-it-up to foreign investors.

In an talk with reporters during the on-going three-day conference sponsored by the Philippine Business Council at the plush and historic Manila Hotel, Varela said the economic provisions must be "reviewed" to make it attune to market developments.

Varela said the Concom members appointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo are tasked to review the present constitution and make recommendations on a more suitable form of government, including the economic provisions that need amendments.

He pointed out that the Philippines is being left behind by its neighbors.

"If it will mean additional foreign investments, creation of new jobs and economic progress, then I think the legislators could look at it," said Varela. …