Competition policy signing to boost growth, says PCC

THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) believes the recent signing of the National Competition Policy (NCP) will help ensure the country’s inclusive economic growth.

The PCC said the recent signing of Administrative Order (AO) No. 44 (s. 2021) by the Office of the President aims to support PCC’s watchdog functions.

Through the NCP, PCC said, national government agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs), and local government units (LGUs) are directed to support PCC’s efforts to guard against cartels, abuses of market dominance, and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.

“By ensuring that government responses and interventions follow competition principles, we can prevent policies which may exacerbate market failures and distortions. As the country tackles the economic consequences of the pandemic, the NCP is an important policy tool in improving market efficiency and stimulating economic recovery that is not only robust but also inclusive,” PCC Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan said.

The NCP provides the framework for government agencies in formulating and adopting pro-competitive policies, rules and regulations, and issues to avoid competition distortions and an uneven playing field for businesses.

It complements the Philippine Competition Act and the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 in guiding the design of government interventions, especially those relating to the economic recovery of vulnerable sectors like micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Under the AO, compliance with the NCP will be included in the good governance conditions criteria for the grant of Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) to government personnel, and in the conferment of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) on cities and municipalities.

“Mainstreaming a culture of competition requires a whole-of-government effort. While the importance of competition is mainly felt by businesses and consumers, its success requires appreciation of competition principles by leaders, regulators, policy-makers, and the entire bureaucracy,” Balisacan said.

In the Joint Memorandum Circular 01-2020 by the PCC and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) issued last year, the NCP is set for nationwide implementation through AO 44 signed on October 20, 2021.

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