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Without waiting for an amendment to the economic provisions of the Constitution either by a Constituent Assembly or Constitutional Convention, the House of Representatives has approved on third reading House Bill No. 5828 which ostensibly provides for a statutory definition of a public utility but which is actually a subterfuge to allow foreigners to own public utility enterprises without complying with the citizenship requirement imposed by the Constitution.

The Constitution requires that public utilities must be owned by Filipino citizens or by corporations, partnerships or associations where not less than 60% of the capital stock is owned by Filipino citizens.

No less than Hon. Arthur Yap, the Chairman of the sponsoring committee, the House Committee on Economic Affairs, has admitted repeatedly during the deliberations that once House Bill No. 5828 is enacted into law foreigners will be allowed to own public utilities.

In fact, House Bill No. 5828 has deleted the requisite Filipino ownership requirement of public utilities under the Public Service Act, which is identical with Section 11 of Article XII of the Constitution.

Moreover, in its definition of a public utility, House Bill No. 5828 has deliberately deleted the concept of ownership and limited the definition to the operation, management and control of public utilities even as there can be no operation, management or control without a qualified owner.

The bill also deletes from the enumeration of public utilities traditional public utilities like common carriers and telecommunications companies which are presently operating with controlling Filipino ownership.

The amendments of this Representation to assure compliance with the citizenship requirement of the Constitution, cleanse the bill of unconstitutional infirmities, and include traditional public utilities in the enumeration of public utilities, were all voted down.

In view of the foregoing, I reiterate my No vote.