By 2022, these investigation hubs are planned to be transformed into PCC regional offices, according to PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan.
PCC is an independent quasi-judicial body mandated to implement the national competition policy and enforce Republic Act No. 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act (PCA), the country’s primary competition policy for promoting and protecting the competitive market.
According to PCC, the PCA will “protect the well-being of consumers and preserve the efficiency of competition in the marketplace.” After languishing in Congress for 24 years, the law was passed in 2015.
“Enforcement of the PCA will help ensure that markets are open and free, challenging anticompetitive business practices while maintaining an environment where businesses can compete based on the quality of their work,” said PCC on its website.
The agency said that “a competitive market means a market with multiple buyers and multiple sellers, driving market prices lower and offering consumers more choices. A truly competitive market encourages efficiency and innovation, and forces businesses to excel.”
Balisacan said that the competition policy enforcement is “relevant” despite the pandemic, and even more so post-pandemic as the country works for recovery by building a resilient and inclusive economy.
PCC has so far received 659 queries and informal complaints, something Balisacan considered as “an encouraging sign for a young agency.”
“As we transition to the new normal, I would like to assure you that the PCC will continue to be vigilant in market monitoring, enforcement, and evidence-based advocacy. We will always be mindful and work for the protection of consumer welfare, a fair playing field for businesses, and pro-competitive government interventions. An equal playing field during and post-pandemic will ensure a faster and more stable economic recovery,” he said.
PCC is looking forward to the lifting of the suspension of the motu proprio review in September. Under Bayanihan Act 2, the PCC’s review for mergers and acquisitions was suspended for one year.
“By then, we will be able to review merger transactions in the past year and identify those that may have led to anti-competitive effects,” he said.
The agency has so far received 225 merger and acquisition transactions, with deals amounting to P4.6 trillion. (NRC, PR)