Lawyer hails President Duterte, bill allowing foreign ownership in telco, transport: “He has struck at rent seekers: Lopez, Pangilinan, Ayala”

While critics like Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas warned that this bill if passed, would lead to foreign takeover of public transport systems, internet services, media and other sectors at the expense of ordinary consumers who will pay costlier services, lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles hailed this law as unprecedented in PH history.

In a Facebook post, Angeles urged netizens to step back and pondering the earth-shaking move the President has just done. “Let’s just take a moment to take stock of what the president has done. He has struck at rent seekers: Lopez, Pangilinan, Ayala.”

In case you are wondering what is rent seeking? Angeles explained it further, “If one individual uses the resources of another person, organization, company or any entity to obtain economic gain – to make himself or herself richer – but does not reciprocate any benefits to society through the creation of new wealth, he or she is rent-seeking.”

Angeles elaborated that rent seeking happens when an government agency tasks to protect the public changes and favors a company it is supposed to be regulating. For example, NTC allows a TELCO company or MWSS to make unjustified price increases to their rates. “Example of rent seeking is regulatory capture when a regulatory agency designed to protect the public changes and favors companies it is supposed to be regulating. For example, an agency in charge of regulating a public utility allows unjustified price increases, low service, schemes that trap consumers into long term low service contracts, etc. Hello water? Telcos?”

Another example is giving tax breaks to a favored company while others do not receive same treatment. “Another example of rent seeking is tax exemptions for select corporations. This amounts to the company getting more money while other companies need to struggle to make profit, thus diminishing competition. Kaya wala pa ring CITIRA.”

One more example of rent seeking is legislation targeted to give special benefits to particular companies or interest groups. Hello rice tarrification law. “Yet another example is legislation targeted to give special benefits particular companies or interest groups. This is achieved through lobbying. Kamusta naman ang rice tarrification law?”

And the last but not the least is corruption that brings about preferential treatment. For example, a company the corners NLEX but gives little service, little investment but makes a lot of money. “Finally there is also corruption that begets preferential treatment. When some companies corner certain contracts where they give little service but obtain a lot of money. These schemes usually involve low cost to the company compared to what they can earn. Kamusta naman ang LRT? At yung NLEX ng mga Lopez na muntik nang magkaruon ng sovereign guarantee?”

On other words, Angeles said that rent-seeking is about getting the most bucks, eliminating the competition and limiting the opportunities for the rest to make money. “In all examples the companies get more money, while eliminating competition, limiting the wealth others could create.”

Angeles concluded that rent seeking makes the country poor because no one dared to go against the Oligarchs. “These rent seeking activities are what keep us poor. Because no one can challenge the large corrupt companies.”

Until a PROMDI Mayor became President named Rodrigo Duterte.

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Source: Luminous by Trixie Cruz-Angeles & Ahmed Paglinawan

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