• ‘More competition to benefit consumers’

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    As the Philippines gears up to improve competition in its various markets, industries with only a few domestic players will be the most affected by the new policies to be implemented, according to an official of the National Competitive Council (NCC).

    In an interview with reporters on Monday, NCC Philippines Co-Chairman for the private sector Guillermo Luz said industries that only have a few players will be the most affected by the new policies that may be put in place as the country tries to improve market competition in various industries.

    One initiative of the government to improve market competition was seen in the creation of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), which was established earlier this year.
    The agency was formed through Republic Act (RA) 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act.

    According to PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan, the new competition agency seeks to promote economic efficiency and benefit consumers by ensuring healthy and fair market competition across all industries.

    “Our main goal is to provide benefits to consumers through more choices and lower prices, which healthy market competition provides,” Balisacan said.

    Luz noted that industries that only have a few or only o ne or two players holding dominant market shares are the industries likely to be affected by initiatives for more market competition, as those sectors are most in need of it.

    “If you take a look at those industries, maybe those industries are the ones, that from so much concentration of market share, we’ll have to take a look at and say what can be done to open it up to more competition?” Luz said.

    An example that Luz cited is the airline industry, in which only a few players cater to the domestic market.

    Luz pointed out that industries with very few players limit the service options that
    consumers have, and that industries with more competition generally benefit consumers as they are given more options.

    “Generally, when you have more players or an increased number of players those help to bring more competition into the market, and those players are not just domestic players but also foreign players,” Luz said “So the general feeling is that any form of competition has been good and forces everyone to be more competitive. And generally—but not all the time—consumers benefit from that.”

    Luz concluded, “It’s not just about bringing in more competition but also fixing up policies, smoothening out the regulatory framework, reducing the hassle of doing business. So if we can do that, we can make businesses more competitive and benefit consumers.”

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