Senate urged to pass bill easing ownership limits in public utilities

BW FILE PHOTO

A CONGRESSMAN on Sunday urged the Senate to fast-track the approval of a measure seeking to change the country’s 80-year old public service law, saying it could help end power and water supply shortages.

“I urge our Senators to approve the proposed New Public Service Act pending before their chamber as soon as the session resumes,” Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy said in a statement.

“This 18th Congress must be the beginning of the swift end of expensive electricity, water supply shortages and older than 20th century sewer systems.”

The House of Representatives has approved the bil, which seeks to change the definition of public utilities to allow more foreign investments in the public service sector, on final reading,

“Once this bill becomes a law, it will allow full foreign ownership in the public service sector such as land-based transportation and communications by limiting the definition of public utility to the distribution and transmission of electricity, as well as water pipeline distribution and sewerage system,” Ms. Herrera-Dy said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has certified the bill as urgent. The government’s economic team earlier said the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council had expected the bill to be passed before Congress adjourned this month. Congress will resume sessions next month. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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