The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses and fragility of regional supply chains, as nations resorted to containment measures and sudden trade controls. The pandemic-induced disruptions in the supply chains necessitated an accelerated shift to digital platforms and new technologies for businesses to stay afloat and for consumers to maintain access to commodities. Post-pandemic, the imminent threat posed by trade protectionism and future health and disaster risks can easily undermine the transformation of many industry supply chains.

Several months into the pandemic, ASEAN Member States have reaffirmed their commitment to the ASEAN’s economic and regional objectives. The Hanoi Plan of Action in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic aims to restore supply chains and ensure its resiliency for the long haul, especially for economies that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as the Philippines. As ASEAN economies reconfigure their supply chains and innovation spaces, they must simultaneously strengthen their disaster risk management and climate response to safeguard the sustainability and inclusiveness of economic recovery from the pandemic.

The 2021 FCDC, the PCC’s flagship advocacy event, aims to tackle the many challenges facing regional supply chains in the new normal and to determine the role of dynamic competition policy in designing resilient supply chains in the long run. The Forum shall provide a platform for sharing of country experiences in transforming their supply chains, and for an exchange of ideas on innovative responses to reinvigorate businesses and rebuild economies. Proceedings of the Forum aim to inform antitrust authorities and other government agencies on how to incorporate supply chains resiliency in the implementation of the national competition policy.

The webinar will start at 2:00 PM and will be streamed live at the PCC Facebook Page. Register at bit.ly/2021FCDC. Attendance to the forum is free. For further inquiries, kindly e-mail themanilaforum@phcc.gov.ph.

 

 



AGENDA

DAY 1 | February 22, 2021

1:00 – 2:00 (60 mins) Media briefing and participants’ registration
2:00 – 2:10 (10 mins) Opening Remarks
Arsenio Balisacan, Chairman, Philippine Competition Commission
2:10 – 2:20 (10 mins) Message from the Philippine Government
Ramon Lopez, Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry
2:20 – 2:45 (25 mins)

Keynote Presentation: Rebuilding and Rethinking Supply Chains in the Post-COVID-19 Era for the ASEAN Region       

Speaker: Tetsushi Sonobe, Dean and Chief Executive Officer, Asian Development Bank Institute

  • In comparison to high-income economies in Asia, in what ways has the pandemic affected supply chains, output, and employment in developing ASEAN member states?
  • How have the ASEAN economies responded to the disruptions in the various supply chains?
  • What will be the long-lasting impact(s) of the pandemic on trade, industry, and innovation in the region?
  • What lessons from the pandemic would be relevant in climate-proofing our supply chains?
2:45 – 2:55 (10 mins) Q&A
2:55 – 3:45 (50 mins)

Panel 1: Pro-Competition Policy in the Face of Slowing Globalization and Creeping Protectionism

Speaker: Prema-chandra Athukorala, Professor of Economics, Australian National University – Crawford School of Public Policy

Moderator: Emmanuel Esguerra, Professor, University of the Philippines School of Economics

Panelists:

  • Kodrat Wibowo, Chairperson, Indonesia Competition Commission
  • Suthad Setboonsarng, Board Member, Banpu (Thailand) Plc. and Trustee, International Rice Research Institute
  • Stella Quimbo, Member, House of Representatives
  • Corazon PB Claudio, Convenor/Coordinator, Climate Crisis & Sustainable Development Network
  • Nipon Poapongsakorn, Distinguished Fellow, Thailand Development Research Institute Foundation (TBC)

With lockdowns in place, economies everywhere were shut down abruptly, disrupting supply chains. Trade controls were also put into place as health concerns mounted and to limit the outflow of food supply. Although these were eventually lifted in most ASEAN countries, the permanent legacies to be left behind by the coronavirus remain uncertain even with vaccines and therapeutic medicines available. Experts have pointed out the slowing of regional integration, as well as the possible return of protectionist policies, which were already creeping in prior to the pandemic.

As such, how has the pandemic changed growth strategies in the region? How will these changes affect the region’s current competitive landscape?

  • How have ASEAN economies been affected by slowing globalization and rising protectionism? How have they responded/been responding?
  • How will slowed down trade and ongoing trade tensions influence the future of supply chain structures in the region?
  • How have local firms, especially MSMEs, responded to COVID-19 related shocks as well as climate change-related supply chain disruptions, and what transformations can be expected in their usual business operations (e.g. logistics management, business expansion)?
  • What are governments doing to facilitate the transformation of the supply chains and innovation spaces to enhance participation and growth among local players while also promoting market entry and foreign capital inflows?
  • How can we ensure that solutions to supply chain disruptions are pro-competition?
3:45 – 4:05 (20 mins) Q&A
4:05 – 4:10 (5 mins) Wrap-Up by Moderator

DAY 2 | February 23, 2021

2:00 – 2:15 (15 mins) Recap of Day 1
2:15 – 3:05 (50 mins)

Panel 2: The Health Sector and Competition Amidst the Pandemic

Speaker: Marcus Bezzi, Executive General Manager, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Moderator: Calla Wiemer, President, American Committee on Asian Economic Studies

Panelists:

  • Jaime Montoya, Executive Director, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development
  • Risa Hontiveros, Member, Senate of the Philippines (TBC)
  • Beaver Tamesis, President, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines
  • Marjorie Pajaron, Assistant Professor, University of the Philippines

With an unprecedented global pandemic, countries’ healthcare systems were at the frontlines. The health and economic impact of COVID-19 has been significant across Southeast Asia. Generally, less developed economies have weaker healthcare systems and significantly lag behind advanced economies. As such, there is much to learn from their strategies despite limited fiscal space and other constraints.

As the pandemic continues to affect millions in the region, what is the role of competition policy in making our healthcare systems more accessible, more robust and more resilient?

  • What actions have governments taken to ensure there is a sufficient supply of medical products and adequate access to healthcare services amid the pandemic?
  • What is the current state of competition in the health sector and its related sectors (e.g., logistics and manufacturing) and how has it affected the responses to the pandemic?
  • How does trade regulations, both tariff and non-tariff, affect timely access to affordable and trustworthy medicinal and related products, and ensure resilient supply chains?
  • How do we ensure swift responses to the pandemic while maintaining level-playing fields in these markets?
  • How do we sustain/encourage competitive conditions in the medical technologies industry beyond the current focus on developing and rolling out COVID-19 vaccines worldwide?
3:05 – 3:25 (20 mins) Q&A
3:25 – 4:15 (50 mins)

Panel 3: Big Tech in the Post-Pandemic Era: An Equalizer or Amplifier?

Speaker: Thomas Cheng, Deputy Director, Asian Institute of International Financial Law, The University of Hong Kong

Moderator: Johannes Benjamin Bernabe, Commissioner, PCC

Panelists:

  • Amabelle Asuncion, PCC
  • Rafaelita Aldaba, Undersecretary, Department of Trade and Industry
  • Nancy Binay, Member, Senate of the Philippines (TBC)
  • Ana Pascual Balingit, Vice President for Key Merchant Accounts, Mynt (GCash)
  • Christopher Monterola, Professor and Executive Director for ACCeSs@AIM, Asian Institute of Management

Technological innovation has proven to be a game-changer for economic growth, especially in the last three decades, leading firms to transform their industrial capabilities and outlays, and empowering consumers to demand better service access and value. Today, the digital shift seems to have been accelerated as companies come up with solutions to the supply chain disruptions and demand shocks caused by the pandemic. However, despite such efficiency gains from ‘Big Tech’ companies, many have argued that such technologies have deepened prior inequalities based on economies’ different levels of access to other technologies and capital. As firms and households grow dependent on them, ‘Big Tech’ companies may also increase their current market power, and risk extending such power across different digital spaces, thereby risking anti-competitive behaviors and conditions.

As such, how can competition policy ensure a level playing field while still enabling sufficient innovation spaces in the face of Big Tech’s likely greater market power? How do we make sure that innovation-led growth and recovery will be inclusive?

  • How has the pandemic accentuated existing inequalities in terms of access to technology and digital resources and in what ways has ‘Big Tech’ affected these inequalities?
  • How has ‘Big Tech’ shaped public and private responses to supply chain disruptions and demand shocks in the region? How has this affected market competitors, consumers, and workers?
  • How can competition authorities detect the abuse of market power by ‘Big Tech’ companies during and after the pandemic and how can they distinguish these anti-competitive activities from the disruption and destruction wrought specifically by the pandemic?
  • What is the role of competition policy in ensuring changes in market power associated with ‘Big Tech’ companies and digitization at large do not lead to abusive activities and conditions, vis-à-vis other government policies to rebuild economies and revitalize innovation after the COVID-19 pandemic and amidst climate change?
4:15 – 4:35 (20 mins) Q&A
4:35 – 4:40 (5 mins) Closing Remarks
Emerson Aquende, Commissioner, Philippine Competition Commission

 



SPEAKER PROFILES

 

Opening Remarks

Arsenio Balisacan

Arsenio Balisacan, PhD has been serving as the first Chairperson of the Philippine Competition Commission since 2016. He served as Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and concurrent Director-General of NEDA from 2012 to 2016. He was Professor and Dean of the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines Diliman. He also served as the Director of SEARCA from 2003 to 2009. He was the 2006 President of the Philippine Economic Society. For his outstanding contributions to economics science, he was elected Member of the National Academy of Science and Technology in 2008. 

Message from the Philippine Government

Ramon Lopez

Ramon M. Lopez is the Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). His extensive government experience with the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), DTI, and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in the early part of his career provided him with a solid background on macroeconomic and industry development that allowed him to adopt a more holistic trade approach when he moved to the private sector and became a top executive of a major Philippine food and beverage company for over 23 years. As a strong advocate for free entrepreneurship education for 12 years, he was called to serve the country again under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration as the DTI Secretary. He has received several awards such as: the Honorary Agora in Nation Building Award in 2018; the 2016 Nation Builders Award for Government Service for his role as prime mover in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development; and the Philippine Innovation Man of the Year Award in 2017 for the promotion of social entrepreneurship through innovation. In 2018, he received from President Duterte the Order of Sikatuna, with a rank of Datu, one of the senior honors one can receive in the Philippines. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines and topped his Master’s Degree in Development Economics class at Williams College, Massachusetts.

Keynote presentation

REBUILDING AND RETHINKING SUPPLY CHAINS IN THE POST-COVID-19 ERA FOR THE ASEAN REGION
Tetsushi Sonobe

Tetsushi Sonobe is the Dean and CEO of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Tokyo-based think tank of the Asian Development Bank that promotes the realization of a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific through policy research and capacity building. Born in 1960 in Tokyo, Dean Sonobe obtained his PhD in economics from Yale University and BA in economics from the University of Tokyo. His research interests include the empirics of economic development, particularly industrial development processes and poverty reduction in developing countries. Dean Sonobe has more than 20 years’ experience analyzing the role of human capital, institutions, and management in industrial development in Asia and other regions. Notably, he and prominent agricultural and development economist, Keijiro Otsuka, applied their unique enterprise survey approach to a series of development process case studies in different industries in East Asia. They expanded the scope of their industry study to cover South Asia, Africa, and Central America and conducted randomized controlled trials of management training programs for business owners and managers. Before joining ADBI in April 2020, Dean Sonobe served for six years as a vice president of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo. He also previously served as a professor of economics at Tokyo Metropolitan University and GRIPS. Dean Sonobe is a recipient of the Nikkei Book Publication Prize and the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize, and a founding board member of the Japanese Association for Development Economics.

PANEL 1

Pro-Competition Policy in the Face of Slowing Globalization and Creeping Protectionism
Prema-chandra Athukorala

Prema-chandra Athukorala is Professor of Economics in the Arndt-Corden Department of Economics at the Australian National University (ANU), Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Honorary Professorial Research Fellow in the School of Environment and Development at the University of Mancester, UK. His research interests are primarily in the fields of development macroeconomics, international trade and development, multinational enterprises and foreign direct investment, and international labour migration. His publications include 117 papers in scholarly journals, 10 books, 7 edited books and 75 chapters in multi-author books. He has served, at various times, as a consultant to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Development Bank Institute, International labour Organisation, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, World Trade Organization, United Nations International Trade Centre, and the Australian Agency for International Development. These assignments have resulted in work on Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand Vietnam, Mongolia and Kyrgyz Republic.

Emmanuel Esguerra

Emmanuel F. Esguerra is currently Professorial Lecturer at the University of the Philippines Diliman. A member of the UP School of Economics faculty from 1993 to 2018, he was seconded to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in July 2012 where he served as Deputy Director-General heading the National Development Office for Policy and Planning, and subsequently in 2016 as Director-General and Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of the Philippines and his PhD at the Ohio State University. His areas of research interest include labor economics, public economics and development economics.

Kodrat Wibowo

Kodrat Wibowo, SE, Ph.D is the Chairman of the Indonesia Competition Commission (ICC) for the 2020-2023 period. He started his career at the Economics Department, University of Oklahoma, the United States of America, as a Researcher and Teaching Assistant in 1998. He came back to Indonesia and continued his career at Padjadjaran University where he worked at the Center for Economics and Development Studies (CEDS) of the Faculty of Economics and Business of Padjadjaran University as a Secretary. He attained his bachelor’s degree education from Padjadjaran University majoring in Economics and Development Studies in 1994. He then continued his doctoral education at the Economics Department College of Arts and Science, University of Oklahoma in 1997. He also once served as the Vice Chairman of the Audit Committee, Board of Trustees of Padjadjaran University and held such position since 2016.

Suthad Setboonsarng

Suthad Setboonsarng is an economist currently serving as a member of the Bank of Thailand Board, the central bank of Thailand, an Independent Director, Board of Directors, Banpu PLC, one of the largest private energy companies in Thailand. He is also a board member of the Cambodia Development Research Institute (CDRI). Dr. Setboonsarng received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the Thammasat University, Thailand, and his Master of Arts degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Hawaii. He completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Hawaii under a scholarship from the East-West Center, Hawaii. Dr. Setboonsarng’s prior experiences include being a member of the National Reform Council of Thailand; Thailand trade representative (a ministerial representative of the Thai Prime Minister), Thailand; partner, Worldtrade Management Services, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Thailand; deputy secretary general of the ASEAN Secretariat, Indonesia; associate professor, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Pathumthani, Thailand; research fellow, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI); research fellow, East-West Resource System Institute, Hawaii, USA; and lecturer, Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University, Thailand. His selected publications deal with international trade and investment, rice policies, rice research priorities, and agricultural pricing.

Stella Luz Quimbo

Stella Luz A. Quimbo is the duly elected Representative of the 2nd District of Marikina City and Deputy Minority Leader of the 18th Philippine Congress. She is an academician who served as Professor and Department Chair of the University of the Philippines School of Economics. In 2016, she was appointed Commissioner of the Philippine Competition Commission, where she served for three years. From 2011 to 2013, she was a Prince Claus Professorial Chair Holder at Erasmus University of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Dr. Quimbo has an extensive research portfolio in the field of Health Economics, Industrial Organization, Microeconomics, Education, Poverty, and Public Policy and Regulation. This includes her attendance in a succession of both international and local academic conferences, and authorship of numerous scientific and technical publications, one of which was acclaimed 2015 Outstanding Scientific Paper Awardee by The National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). Later, NAST also conferred on her the Outstanding Youth Scientist Award. She was also a Freedom Flame Awardee of a German foundation for liberal politics, the Friedrich Neumann Foundation for Freedom, and a recipient of the UP President Edgardo J. Angara Fellowship and UP Diliman Centennial Faculty Grant. She holds an MA in Economics for Competition Policy (with Distinction) from King’s College London. She obtained her BS in Economics (summa cum laude), MA in Economics, and PhD in Economics from the University of the Philippines.

Corazon PB Claudio

Dr. Claudio’s education and professional activities cover general management; science and technology (S&T), with focus on engineering-economic systems and decision/risk analysis; environment, climate change, and sustainable development; information, education, & communication (IEC) & IC technology (ICT). She has worked in the following industries/areas: environment and natural resources; energy; S&T education and promotion; journalism-various media; IEC & ICT, including telecommunications; insurance; retail; and population, health, and wellness management. Her work has involved setting up and managing social enterprises (for-profit, non-profit, & public sector organizations), holding senior executive positions in the public and private sectors, and serving as senior scientist/adviser/consultant in programs covering the ASEAN, Asia-Pacific region, and South America-South Asia. She currently serves as Adviser or Board Trustee/Director of several public and private organizations. Dr. Claudio holds the following degrees: B.S. Ch.E. (FEATI University), MBA (Ateneo de Manila University), International Teachers’ Programme (ITP) Certificate for teaching management (Harvard University & Consortium of Management Schools in Europe), M.S. & Ph.D., Engineering-Economic Systems (Stanford University). Her Philippine honors and awards include: TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service), Balik Scientist, and Recognition by the Philippines’ Professional Regulatory Board of Chemical Engineers. Growing up in a rural community, getting advanced education in the Philippines, United States, and Europe, and gaining professional experience and recognition locally and internationally, she “can navigate in any sector of society, whether poor or rich,” as one business leader commented.

Nipon Poapongsakorn


PANEL 2

The Health Sector and Competition Amidst the Pandemic
Marcus Bezzi

Marcus has been an Executive General Manager at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) since early 2009. He is responsible for the ACCC’s Specialized Enforcement & Advocacy Division; this division enforces cartel laws, manages the ACCC’s International engagement, coordinates the ACCC advocacy network and runs the ACCC intelligence unit. It also has responsibility for the ACCC’s work in units established to focus on substantial lessening of competition, agriculture, commercial construction and financial services. Marcus has a background as a government and private sector lawyer. He was General Counsel at the ACMA for three years and a Senior Executive Lawyer at the Australian Government Solicitor for ten years.

Calla Wiemer


 

Calla Wiemer is President of the American Committee on Asian Economic Studies and Moderator of the Asia Economics Blog. She served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asian Economics from 2015 to 2020. Her teaching career has extended to the University of the Philippines School of Economics, the KDI School of Public Policy and Management, the National University of Singapore, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Claremont McKenna College, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is currently writing a textbook titled “Macroeconomics for Emerging East Asia”. The book was born of recognition that external balance and debt sustainability are critical concerns for the economies of the region whereas these topics get scant attention in standard US macro texts. At the outset, the book lays foundations in the balance of payments and exchange rates, then approaches monetary policy with an eye to the interaction between the interest rate and the exchange rate as policy instruments and fiscal policy with attention to debt loads and fiscal space. A US citizen, Calla became a China specialist with dissertation research at Nanjing University in 1981-82 for a PhD in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She expanded her purview to the rest of Asia when she found herself blacklisted by China in 2003 for work on the Xinjiang region. Since 2015, Calla has made her home in the Philippines where she enjoys the country’s great beauty through biking and hiking and loves the year-round swimming.

Jaime Montoya

Highly trained and multi-awarded Infectious Disease Specialist with M.Sc. and Diploma in Clinical Tropical Medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, U.K. and certified by both the Royal College of Physicians, London, U.K. and the Philippine Board of Internal Medicine and the Philippine Board of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases ,MSc in Bioethics from the University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine and PhD in Medicine from the Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. He is a Fellow of the Philippine College of Physicians, Fellow of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Fellow of the American College of Physicians and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Thailand. He is currently Professor at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, Chair of the Health Sciences Division and Secretary, National Academy of Science and Technology and the Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology. He is currently also the President of the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology (PhilAAST). He is also currently a member of the Board of Advisers of the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation. Last October 2020, he was appointed by the UN Secretary General as one of the 15 eminent scientists to draft the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report. The designation followed an extensive consultation process that involved nominations from UN member states which concluded in December 2019. The SDG report which is produced once every four years will feed the ‘high-level global review’ of the 2030 Agenda at the United Nations in September 2030, as well as to guide national and international policymakers on the state of global sustainable development.

Risa Hontiveros


Beaver Tamesis

Beaver is the President and Managing Director for MSD in the Philippines. Beaver is a cardiologist by training. He joined MSD in the Philippines in 1995 as Medical Director. He then switched to the commercial side, serving as Business Unit Director for the portfolios of Cardiovascular Metabolic, Bone and Joint, Specialty and Market Access. Beaver also held positions for the Asia Pacific region – as Regional Marketing Director and Acting Country Manager of MSD Vietnam. He assumed country leadership of MSD in the Philippines in 2013. Beaver received his medical degree from the University of the Philippines, completing his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Cardiology at the Philippines General Hospital and a research fellowship at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. He is widely published in the areas of stress testing, nuclear imaging and structured treatment approaches for diabetes mellitus. Beaver is currently serving his sixth term as President of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), representing the research-based providers of life-saving medicines and vaccines in the country.

Marjorie Pajaron

Marjorie Pajaron is currently an independent researcher and affiliated with the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Prior to her appointment, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia- Pacific Research Center from 2012–2013. She also served as a lecturer at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa Department of Economics where she also received her PhD in Economics. She was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, Global Development Institute in 2017. Her research lies at the intersection of applied microeconometrics, health, labor, gender and development economics. She has published her works on international migration, weather shocks and risk-sharing in high-ranking ISI- listed international journals such as the Journal of Population Economics and Journal of Development Studies, among others. Her other research papers on labor, health and environmental economics are included as working and discussion papers at Stanford University Asia Health Policy Program Working Paper series (AHPP WP) and Global Labor Organization Discussion Paper series (GLO DP).

PANEL 3

Big Tech in the Post-Pandemic Era: An Equalizer or Amplifier?
Thomas Cheng

Thomas Cheng is an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong. He has written extensively on competition law in developing countries and on the competition law of a number of Asian jurisdictions, including Hong Kong, China, and Japan. His research has appeared in respected specialist U.S. journals, including Chicago Journal of International Law, Berkeley Business Law Journal, Virginia Law & Business Review, and University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, and in leading competition law journals such as Journal of Antitrust Enforcement and World Competition. In 2020, he published Competition Law in Developing Countries, the first comprehensive monograph on the topic, with Oxford University Press. He will publish The Patent-Competition Interface in Developing Countries, again the first comprehensive monograph on the topic, with Oxford University Press in 2021. His research has been recognized internationally. He has been twice awarded the Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund Writing Award in the vertical restraints and antitrust and IP categories. Apart from awards, his stature as a scholar has been recognized through appointments to the executive and advisory boards of a number of leading international competition law organizations such as the American Antitrust Institute and the Academic Society for Competition Law (“ASCOLA”). He has made critical contributions to the development of competition law in Hong Kong. He advised the government extensively during the drafting of the city’s first competition law. He was a member of the inaugural Competition Commission and played a pivotal role in staff recruitment and setting up the Commission. 

Johannes Benjamin Bernabe

Commissioner Bernabe served as a Senior Fellow at the Geneva-based International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, where he specialized in formulating and analyzing policy reforms to the international trade system. He has broad experience in trade regulation and economic law. He graduated cum laude with a degree in economics and subsequently a law degree at the University of the Philippines. He took up further studies in law at the University of London and the International Development Law Institute in Sydney, Australia.

Amabelle Asuncion

Commissioner Amabelle C. Asuncion has extensive experience in both commercial and corporate practice within the context of private and public sector issues. She had engagements in different business sectors, and worked on various regulatory compliance and policy reform initiatives She served in various capacities, including as advocacy adviser, director for legal and regulatory affairs, legislative officer, adjudication chief, and law professor. She received her law degree from the University of the Philippines and her Master of Laws with distinction from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.

Rafaelita Aldaba

Dr. Rafaelita “Fita” M. Aldaba is Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI). She is responsible for the DTI’s initiatives on innovation and entrepreneurship, startup ecosystem development, national competitiveness, accreditation of conformity assessment bodies, and trade and industrial policy research. Prior to her appointment in government, Dr. Aldaba served as Senior Research Fellow and Acting Vice President of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). She has extensive research experience and authored various publications on development issues in the Philippines and ASEAN. She has also conceptualized and managed research projects with various international organizations, including The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Canadian International Development Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development. 

Nancy Binay


Ana Pascual

Ana is GCash’s Vice President for Key Merchant Accounts and Acquirers. As head of this department, Ana handles the Business Development and Account management of the top companies that drive the payments business of GCash. She led the team that launched QR payments in October 2017 at the Ayala Malls with 60 merchants and have since managed QR as a product and grown the business to more than 80K merchant doors and with triple the volume in 2020 and 45% penetration in all the major malls in the Philippines. She has pushed continuous product improvements in offline QR payments from introducing cashbacks, then shifting voucher acceptance and launching device based acceptance and direct POS integration with key accounts key accounts in the supermarket, retail and Food space. She has now also been untrusted in growing the business in the MSME space and bringing the GCash payment solutions to a wider base of merchants and supporting the small business owner to digitize their solutions. Before joining GCash, Ana has had varied experience in different fields, from management consulting specializing in organizational development and crisis management, media sales outside the Philippines and Fashion design with her own atelier. This background married with her Bachelor’s degree in Electricial Engineering and Computer Science from Jacobs University in Germany has helped her provide comprehensive solutions for the GCash merchants.

Christopher Monterola

Dr. Monterola is a physicist, an educator, and an entrepreneur. He holds an Aboitiz Chair in Data Science and a Professorship at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) where he is also the Head of the Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ASITE). Prior to joining AIM, Dr. Monterola was a Senior Scientist at the Institute of High Performance Computing in the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) — Singapore’s lead government agency for fostering world-class scientific research. He was the Capability Group Manager (CGM) of the Complex Systems (CxSy) Capability Group at the IHPC. Chris was also the Principal Investigator and Scientific Director of the Complexity Science Programme (CSP) of the IHPC under the CxSy. The CSP was one of the programs under a bigger umbrella that is the A*STAR Urban Systems Initiative. Prior to his stint in Singapore, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems. He obtained a Ph.D. in Physics in 2002 from the National Institute of Physics, University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) where he was an Associate Professor 7. He was also the Coordinator of the Instrumentation Physics Laboratory (IPL), a leading physics research group in the Philippines. Dr. Monterola was elected to the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) in 2020.


 

Call for Participation for the #2021FCDC

Watch PCC Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan give an overview of the 2021 Forum on Competition in Developing Countries (2021 FCDC) with the theme “Enabling Resilient Supply Chains and Innovation Spaces in Southeast Asia’s New Normal: The Role of Competition Policy”.

Join us online on 22-23 February 2021. Registration is still open at http://bit.ly/2021FCDC. Attendance to the forum is free.

#2021FCDC #CompetitionPH #CompetitionMatters

Posted by Philippine Competition Commission on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Watch PCC Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan give an overview of the 2021 Forum on Competition in Developing Countries (2021 FCDC) with the theme “Enabling Resilient Supply Chains and Innovation Spaces in Southeast Asia’s New Normal: The Role of Competition Policy”.


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