OK to buy property but…: Stella Quimbo looks to Thailand as model for foreign land ownership

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Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo favors allowing foreigners to own land in the Philippines but said safeguards must be put in place.

Quimbo, an economist, said adding the clause “unless otherwise provided by law” to the Constitution’s provision on foreign land ownership will allow Congress to qualify which types of land can be bought by aliens and for which purposes.

“Bakit natin pipigilin ang pag-aari ng lupa ng isang dayuhan kung kaya naman nyang palaguhin ang lupa at mag-empleyo ng maraming Pilipino? Pero kung papayagan natin ito, dapat lagyan ng safeguards,” she said.

Quimbo said the Philippines can take notes from Thailand, which limits foreign land ownership for residential purposes or for commercial activities in tourist spots or for business purposes within economic zones.

Foreigners are not allowed to own land in military security areas in Thailand.

“Baka pwedeng tulad nito ang gawing modelo ng Pilipinas. We can allow land ownership by foreigners only for specific purposes like manufacturing or tourism. We can disallow the purchase by foreigners of land for purposes of investment or speculation,” the lawmaker said.