Joint Foreign Chambers

The members of the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) laud the recent approval of House Bill No. 6 or the Open Access in Data Transmission Act. The House of Representatives approved the measure on third reading before going into the December recess.

This is the third time that the House has approved the bill on third reading after approvals in both the 17th and 18th Congresses. The bill failed to get Senate approval in both Congresses. The members of the JFC expressed optimism that since the bill was approved early in the 19th Congress, the Senate will have enough time to deliberate and approve the measure, especially considering no less than the Senate President filed a counterpart to the Open Access bill filed by House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Jr.

The Senate Bills filed on Open Access were referred to the Senate Science and Technology Committee chaired by Senator Allan Peter Cayetano. In a position paper sent to House ICT Committee, the members of the JFC explained that the Open Access bill seeks to address the need for fast, reliable, and affordable internet or data service. Enactment of the bill will unlock the market and develop a competitive environment to the benefit of the Filipino public. It lowers regulatory barriers and costs of entry for market players offering internet service and promotes fair and open competition at different segments of the data transmission network. This will significantly improve data transmission services (faster internet speed and lower internet costs) throughout the country.

The proposed Open Access in Data Transmission Act is critical to establishing a forward-looking and future-ready digital policy framework for the Philippines. It aims to create the space that will allow and empower as many different service providers as possible to build and operate data networks and give more choices to broadband users anywhere in the country, especially in the countryside.

The JFC is a coalition of the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, Korean chambers and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Incorporated. It supports and promotes open international trade, increased foreign investment, and improved conditions for business to benefit both the Philippines and the countries the JFC members represent.

Members of the Joint Foreign Chambers are:

American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Australian-New Zealand Commerce of the Philippines Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines

European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines

Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of the Philippines Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines

Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc.

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