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Competition policy awaits approval

THE National Competition Policy (NCP) is just awaiting approval by Malacanang for its implementation via an administrative order.

The NCP has been adopted by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) reported that the approval of the NCP to be signed as an administrative order for implementation across government is pending in Malacanang.

A Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) was signed with NEDA in July last year. Once approved by President Duterte, the NCP will be implemented across all government agencies and instrumentalities and is expected to red flag anti-competition practices in the country.

The JMC enjoins government agencies to craft pro-competitive policies and interventions; promote competitive neutrality and review possible anti-competitive measures within the bureaucracy; strengthen the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG); and implement the competition law.

The joint circular also aims to foster an environment that penalizes anti-competitive practices, supports regulatory reforms, improves trade policies to stimulate investments and innovation, and boost competitiveness.

The NCP marks an important milestone in mainstreaming competition policy to foster a culture in the country, especially for the public sector to embrace competition policy.

The NCP is considered the “master” policy governing all competition-related issuances, laws, and documents throughout Philippine government.

It stands to reinforce the Philippine Competition Act, and is prescribed in the Philippine Development Plan 2017- 2020 as a means to level the economic playing field.

PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said the NCP serves as a framework to steer all policies, rules, regulations, and interventions by national government agencies, government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), and local government units toward the promotion of fair market competition.

“It complements the PCA in guiding the design of government interventions, especially those relating to micro, small and medium enterprises’ recovery,” said Balisacan.