Filtered By: Topstories

Quimbo says entry of foreign capital due to Charter change won't put PH at risk

House constitutional amendments panel senior vice chairperson Stella Quimbo said Friday that entry of foreign capital due to Charter change will not put the country at risk.

Quimbo, an economist, was responding to questions as to what will happen if Congress’ efforts for Charter change, which seeks to amend limits on foreign ownership of industries and businesses in the country as well as extend term limits for public officials, become successful and foreign capital suddenly comes rushing in.

“How can we ensure that our national security is protected and the security of our workers are intact? Of course, they (foreign firms) will have to respect and recognize Philippine laws and be compliant with [state] regulators. We will treat them just like any other business entity,” she said.

“There is also an existing law which makes sure that foreign firms coming in here are not blacklisted or in the terrorist list. That is under Foreign Investment Act, which will safeguard our national security,” she added.

Likewise, Quimbo expressed hope that foreign firms which will be allowed increased ownership in industries and businesses due to Charter change will hire Filipino workers.

“Hopefully, makapaglocate...dumami ang foreign firms na physically located sa ating bansa. In which case, hindi naman po puwede na dalhin nila lahat ng empleyado nila rito. Malamang ang dadalhin lang nila, top management,” she said.

(It is our hope that more foreign firms will have offices here. When that happens, they won't be able to bring all their existing employees here. They might only bring in top management personnel with them.)

“The vast majority of employees they would need ay manggagaling sa ating mga kababayan. Iyon talaga ang inaasahan natin (will still come from here. That is what we are really counting on) for job creation,” Quimbo added.

But for House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro, allowing foreign capital in, including in the education and mass media sectors under the proposed Charter change, could also compromise Filipino culture and values.

"Our worry is that when they are prevalent here, we cannot avoid a situation wherein they will inculcate the public with their own culture," she said.

"We should safeguard our culture and our Filipino values," Castro added.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. already said Charter change is not a priority of his administration, but the House constitutional amendments panel is still pursuing the endeavor and has held public consultations in Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, and Pampanga so far.—AOL, GMA Integrated News