PCC: Competition spurs better biz climate

GOOD competition among companies and business is said to result to higher incomes, more investment innovations, more consumer choices, and inclusive economic growth, an official of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

“This is essential so economy prospers for the benefit of everyone, the consumers, businesses, both big and small. When there is competition, the prices are usually lower, the quality of goods is usually better and the variety of goods and services is usually more. That creates increases in the purchasing power of the incomes of consumers. That will also spur innovations in the local economy, thereby, creating more jobs and more opportunities for the local population and therefore making economic growth more exclusive and sustainable,” PCC chairman Arsenio Balisacan said on Tuesday, June 20, during the public forum on the Philippine Competition Act held at Seda Hotel Abreeza.

For her part, PCC Executive Director lawyer Gwen Grecia-De Vera, during her presentation, said there is a need for the Philippine’s competition landscape to improve.

She further supported this call by presenting the Global Competitiveness Report as of 2016 which shows that out of the 168 nations included in the report, Philippines ranks 86 in terms of business dynamism. This category captures the entrepreneurial spirit and the country’s capacities for Business Exploration. One of the highest-ranked countries in Southeast Asia is Singapore and Malaysia which are ranked 12th and 21st respectively.

For Product Market Efficiency, Philippines ranks 99. The category focuses on possible presence of abuse of dominance, complexity of tariff and non-tariff regime, and as well as customs regulations. Highly ranked under this category still are Singapore and Malaysia which are 1st and 12th respectively.

For Market Size category, which captures the country’s potential of real market according to the size of the economy, Philippines ranks the 31st with Indonesia and Thailand ranked at 10th and 18th respectively. Singapore and Malaysia are ranked 37th and 24th under this category.

“High barriers to trade and investment, barriers to entrepreneurship, and state control and not conducive to competition,” said De Vera.

In her presentation, De Vera cited the de-monopolization of telecommunication companies by the early 2000’s as the reason for cheaper international call charges from $2 per minute down to $0.40 since the emergence of Globe, Smart, Sun Cellular, Talk ‘N Text, and TM in comparison to the early 1990’s with only PLDT as the sole telecommunication company in the country.

The objective of the national roadshow on competition law and policy is for the private business sectors, government agencies, and individual consumers to be made aware of the provisions of the Republic Act 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act. RA 10667 is a consolidation of Senate Bills 2282 and 5286. This was signed and approved into law on July 21, 2015.

Balicasan also said part of the national roadshow objective is to completely eradicate anti-competition practices such as cartels and price fixing which are basically monopolizing of commodity prices.

Davao City is the first destination of the roadshow outside Metro Manila and they hope to have Cebu City as the next.
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