Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) head Arsenio Balisacan said in his 2018 year-end report that they will add five manufacturing sectors in its priority list for competition analysis and enforcement in 2019 in its effort to break oligopolistic market structures, further improve consumer welfare and ensure fairer distribution of incomes and opportunities.
The PCC will be monitoring closely the logistics supply chain, corn milling and trading, refined petroleum manufacturing and trading, sugar and pesticides manufacturing sectors this year as it works to correct the many distortions in the market that disproportionately affect the poor.
Balisacan noted that in an economy where oligopolistic market structures exist, there are high external expectations for the PCC to deliver more and better competition enforcement. “Now, more than ever, our goal is to effectively investigate anticompetitive agreements and conduct, keeping in mind that effective deterrence not only requires the threat of penalties, but also effective detection and prosecution of infringements. We consider effective enforcement of the PCA as the most obvious criterion on which our credibility as a young agency will be judged,” he added.
The PCC will be busy this year with the roll out of three programs: the Leniency Program, Rules on Forbearance, and Rules on Inspection Orders which are critical components that are expected to strengthen and complete its enforcement framework.
With the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit as key partners, the PCC will also adopt a tripartite action plan and formally constitute a joint task force to investigate bid-rigging in public procurement as the government ramps up its “Build Build Build” program.
The nation’s competition champion faces a long and lonely road in its mission to level the playing field and ensure fair competition in a country where the rich and powerful know how to use their influence on public officials whose actions betray their words when they say they are against oligarchs. The noble plans of the PCC under Commissioner Balisacan must be allowed to come to fruition so our government can be armed with the policies and tools to back up its claims with real results when leaders say they want a level playing field for everyone.*