Companies have been given enough time to comply with the Philippine Competition Act (PCA) and antitrust authorities warned that they were ready to apply the full force of the law.
“If, after due process, you are caught violating the PCA, you will be fined and penalized,” PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan told reporters.
Passed in 2015, the PCA provided for a two-year transition period that lapsed on Tuesday.
“The PCC may impose administrative fines of up to P100 million on the first offense and up to P250 million on the second offense. Besides the fines, the penalty of imprisonment of up to seven years may be imposed by courts upon directors and officials of any corporation involved in an anti-competitive agreement,” Balisacan added.
If the violation involves the trade or movement of basic necessities and prime commodities as defined by the Price Act, the fine or penalty will be tripled.
“Two years ago, we passed a law that helped propel us into economic modernity and allowed us to more closely align ourselves with the practices of our regional neighbors and trade partners,” Balisacan noted.
Companies were supposed to use the two-year grace period to renegotiate agreements, amend their practices and restructure themselves in order to comply with the PCA.