September 9, 2020
In the March 10, 2020 Decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) vs. Manila Water Company, Inc. (Manila Water), G.R. No. 217590, it finally put to rest the issue of whether or not foreign contractors are eligible only to special PCAB license as provided under Rule 3 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 4566 (RA 4566).
“We agree with respondent (Manila Waters) that a scrutiny of R.A. No. 4566 reveals that there is nothing which would indicate that petitioner (PCAB) is authorized to set an equity limit for a contractor ‘s license. It is Congress, which has the power to determine certain areas of investments which must be reserved to Filipinos, upon recommendation of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), and when national interest requires. Again, we do not find any basis in any law enacted by Congress for the equity requirement set by petitioner in the assailed regulation. This power is not even impliedly delegated to petitioner under R.A. No. 4566 from which it anchors its existence and authority.
Accordingly, this Court finds that the construction industry is not one, which the Constitution has reserved exclusively for Filipinos. Neither do the laws enacted by Congress show any indication that foreigners are proscribed from entering into the same projects as Filipinos in the field of construction. Thus, we find that setting the equity limit for a certain type of contractor’ s license has no basis.”