OSG asks SC to reverse decision allowing foreign contractors to work in private, gov’t projects

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has asked the Supreme Court to reverse its decision which allows foreign contractors to obtain licenses and participate in government or private projects in the country.

In a statement on Sunday, the OSG said that it filed a 29-page motion for reconsideration, where it argued that the limitations on the participation of foreigners in the contracting industry must be retained “to protect the interests of Filipino contractors and workers.”

The motion was signed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, Assistant Solicitor General Ma. Antonia Edita Dizon and State Solicitor II Perfecto Adelfo Chua Chen.

“Allowing the issuance of regular license to foreign contractors would result to unbridled influx of foreign contractors to the detriment of local contractors in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including the concerned professionals and Filipino workers, among others,” the OSG said in the motion, which was filed on behalf of the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB).

The motion comes after the High Court, in a decision promulgated March 10 but released only on Aug. 26, upheld a lower court resolution that declared void a provision of Republic Act 4566 or the  Contractors Licensing Law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), which classifies the licenses that may be issued by the PCAB  to contractors into regular and special license.

Under Section 3.1 of the IRR, companies with at least 60 percent Filipino equity participation can be granted a regular license, which gives them continuing authority to engage in many contracting activities throughout a one-year period. Foreign firms can only be granted a special license, and they need to have a separate license for each contracting activity.

This regulation, according to the SC, is “a deterrent to the foreign players in the construction industry.”

According to the OSG, the

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