National Competition Policy seen to improve market efficiency

THE implementation of the National Competition Policy (NCP) will help improve the country’s market efficiency and spur economic recovery, according to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

“By ensuring that government responses and interventions follow competition principles, we can prevent policies which may exacerbate market failures and distortions,” PCC Chairperson Arsenio M. Balisacan said in a statement on Monday.

On Oct. 20, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued Administrative Order No. 44 mandating the nationwide adoption and implementation of the NCP.

Under the said administrative order, all national government agencies, government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), and local government units (LGUs) are required to comply with the NCP by implementing pro-competitive policies and interventions, creating a level playing field between public and private sector businesses, and helping the PCC in enforcing competition law.

The NCP was issued through Joint Memorandum Circular No. 01-2020 dated July 30 last year signed by the PCC and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

According to the PCC, the NCP gives the framework for government agencies in creating and adopting pro-competitive policies, rules and regulations, and issuances to avoid an uneven playing field for businesses.

The NCP also directs government agencies to support the PCC against cartels, market dominance abuses, and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.

“It complements Republic Act No. 10667 or 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),” the PCC said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Balisacan said mainstreaming a culture of competition needs 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, policymakers, and the entire bureaucracy,” Mr. Balisacan said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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