The newly created Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has tapped the expertise of Australia in combating anti-competitive practices, improve market conditions, and promote free market.
From March 21 to 22, PCC officials were in Australia to meet officials of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and other experts to hold dialogues on the Philippines may improve the mandate of its competition law.
The PCC entourage, led by Chairman Arsenio Balisacan, Commissioners Johannes Bernabe, Menardo Guevarra, and Stella Quimbo. They met with ACCC Chairman Rod Sims and Commissioner Mick Keogh.
Australia is a recognized leader in competition law, with the ACCC rated as among the best competition authorities in the world.
Balisacan and his team also sought insights and suggestions on how to implement the competition and consumer protection law from Australian anti-trust expert Allan Fels – the first ACCC chair – as well as Russell Miller, one of Australia’s leading competition lawyers.
“The Philippine Competition Act (RA 10667), which became law last year after the bill languished for 24 years in Congress, was a much awaited piece of legislation expected to accelerate investments and job creation in the Philippines through regulations that combat anti-competition practices,” Balisacan said in a statement on Friday.
“With this backdrop, PCC is eager to get inputs from the best in the world to help effectively deliver on its mandate,” he added.
The PCC was established on February 1. RA 10667 was passed in June last year. The commission is mandated to implement the Philippine Competition Act, which prohibits anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.
The PCC earlier said that it is currently drafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 10667, which is expected to be completed in June.
The commission is also forming a “scoping study”—a “systematic” survey of sectors—to identify those that “have problem with competition.” The study is expected to be finished next month, said Balisacan.
Formed under RA 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act of 2015, the PCC is a quasi-judicial body tasked to ensure an efficient market competition by creating a level-playing field among businesses engaged in trade, industry, and all commercial economic activities.
Its mandate includes protection of consumer welfare, and to advance domestic and international trade and economic development.
It can conduct inquiries, and investigate and penalize all forms of anticompetitive agreements, abuse of dominant position, and anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions across all business sectors.